Best Upgrades 66' Fastback - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
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Best Upgrades 66' Fastback

Hey Gang,
Bought a 66' FB and would like feedback on some upgrades I'd like to do:
Stats on the car:
*originally a 6 cyl car - previous owner did a V-8 motor swap to a 302
*4-spd
*5-lug all around with 15" Magnums
*Drum brakes all around

My Want List:
1. Disc conversion in front (*power vs manual) - who's products do you recommend?
2. 5-spd upgrade (T-5)
3. Current dual exhaust, but getting a 'drone' sound at 45mph - (*H-pipe - glass-pak - clearance issues - stop the droning and sound GREAT)
4. 15" Torque Thruster wheels - (*confirming 4.5 or 4.75 offset) 7" or 8" will there be rubbing? Same on all-four or staggered
5. Update steering and suspension (who's products do you recommend?)

CJ's, NPD, or?

Thanks in advance
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 01:21 PM
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Hi and welcome. I recently upgraded and am in the process of restoring my Mom's 65 C code Fastback. We performed many of the upgrades that you are inquiring about.

1. We converted the front stock drums to stock Kelsey Hays disc brakes. Big improvement stopping performance. We also upgraded to tandem master cylinder for safety. I also upgraded the pedal box bushing to a roller bearing which I think helps with pedal feel and smoothness. I think power brakes is more of a preference in such a small and light car. However, if you do go with a power booster, you will not be able to use the stock Z bar clutch linkage and more than likely have to upgrade to a hyudralic clutch such as the modern driveline kit because of clearance issues.

2. We upgraded from a C4 to a T5 and it really made the car much funner to drive. If you have a top loader, I think it's really about if you need that overdrive for highway driving. What gearing do you have in the car now?

3. I'm not an exhaust expert, but sounds like if you change out to mufflers alone it should help while keeping everything else the same. Do you have headers or stock exhaust headers now? I guess it depends on your budget and if you want to gut it and start from scratch or make as little changes as possible.

4. We went with16" factory Mustang late model rims by adding 1.25" wheel spacers 205/55/R16. I think the rims are 7" in width.

5. In regards to suspension, we added a single piece export brace and monte carlo bar. These helped stiffen up the front. Other than new shocks, it depends on the feel that you want. We also added the 1" negative shelby drop up front in addition to 620 coils with 1" sway bar and the car handles exceptionally well. It almost feels like a new car which stays level on aggressive cornering. The 620s in my opinion feel a bit on the stiff side, but we have a taller sidewall to help soften things a little (55). In the rear we went with mid eye leaf springs and traction bars. The majority of out parts were purchased from Mustangsplus. Nothing fancy, all looks stock, but the car is a blast to drive. In regards to steering, the car has stock power steering with a rebuilt valve. If properly maintained, works great and no leaks.

I hope this info helps a little, but a lot of it depends on your budget, and how in depth you want to go with the modifications. If you work in steps. I would begin with upgrading the brakes and bolt on a new swaybar. If you decide to go with power brakes, you may want to do the hydraulic clutch upgrade while the master cylinder is out. Best of luck!
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 02:17 PM
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1: wheel size will probably dictate stock style KH discs, but thatís not a bad thing. Larger wheels would allow for many swap part options. I personally like the idea of using newer Mustang discs on the front. Itís a lovely thing to have Ford part numbers on things when it comes to maintenance. You donít need a power booster, but I am a fan of the Mustang Steve conversion there.

2: 5 speed conversion is the best thing you can do. Period. Opinions range on clutch actuation (stock, cable or hydraulic), but my cable clutch conversion from Mustang Steve has performed flawlessly for over a decade. Also, consider adding roller bearing clutch pivot. Itís fantastic.

3: I agree that a different muffler should fix this. A generic ďturboĒ style muffler usually sounds good and rumbly without drone.

Iíll let someone thatís better with wheel/tire figment comment on #4.

For parts, go with NPD whenever possible. Great company with superior customer service.

The anvil of reality.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalLmo View Post
15" Torque Thruster wheels - (*confirming 4.5 or 4.75 offset) 7" or 8" will there be rubbing? Same on all-four or staggered
From some previous threads, here is a link to a tire fitment guide on the web. There may be others, but this is just what I've bookmarked:

Wheels & Tyres for Mustangs

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 05:46 PM
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Actually, you can install a power brake booster with a factory Z-bar, but you are limited to a 7" booster. I have one installed with my T5 conversion and it works well with the OE Kelsey Hayes front disc brakes.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 06:04 PM
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@norcalLmo If it was my car [and this is what I did] I'd get to know the car first...drive it, check it out in the drive way, and garage.

Then make a list of ALL the things you want to do and wait for at least 45 days. My list is on my cell phone.

During those 45 days, research that list as some things may fall off or be added.

Final thing, great resources and kind people frequent this website. And thank goodness for them. Take advantage of their generosity and knowledge, I do.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-18-2019, 09:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norcalLmo View Post

My Want List:
1. Disc conversion in front (*power vs manual) - who's products do you recommend?

Manual disc/drum, ala "Chockostang".

2. 5-spd upgrade (T-5)

Call me old-fashioned, but I don't daily drive so I could care less about an overdrive 5th... I'll keep my Toploader thank you very much.

3. Current dual exhaust, but getting a 'drone' sound at 45mph - (*H-pipe - glass-pak - clearance issues - stop the droning and sound GREAT)

Drones are caused by harmonic resonance. Resonators might help...that's what they were designed for. Other options include changing from H to X pipe or vice versa, or adding dampers to the exhaust.
If you ever looked under a newer Ford with factory duals you'll find a couple of cylindrical dampers hanging at the end of the H pipe.


4. 15" Torque Thrust wheels - (*confirming 4.5 or 4.75 offset) 7" or 8" will there be rubbing? Same on all-four or staggered

What tire size do you want to run? 215's are about the biggest 15" you can run without issues so I'd run a 15 x 7 wheel in a 3.75 backspace.

5. Update steering and suspension (who's products do you recommend?)

"Arning Drop" (free). Replacement of any worn components with MOOG brand (O'Reilly, Rockauto, Amazon, etc.), Springs (Eaton-Detroit Spring), Shocks (Koni or Billstein), Steering Box rebuild (Chockostang), Shelby Quick Steer Pitman and Idler Arms (Various vendors... NPD first choice, Branda second). Export Brace (Scott Drake), Monte Carlo Bar (Various... again, NPD or Branda)

Thanks in advance
Sure.

Bart

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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 12:28 AM
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Quote:
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@norcalLmo If it was my car [and this is what I did] I'd get to know the car first...drive it, check it out in the drive way, and garage.

Then make a list of ALL the things you want to do and wait for at least 45 days. My list is on my cell phone.

During those 45 days, research that list as some things may fall off or be added.

Final thing, great resources and kind people frequent this website. And thank goodness for them. Take advantage of their generosity and knowledge, I do.

This is really great advice, listen to it! I guarantee it that your plans will change a couple dozen times what you want to do with the car. Get the feel of it. Learn it's faults. This will define what you want to do and you'll only spend money once.

The object of the game is to have fun. Take on obtainable projects. Resist the temptation or advice of those who tell you take the car apart and restore it. A car in a pile of parts on the garage floor is no fun.


Myself and 2nd 66 having fun! Neither one of our cars are pretty.

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Me, 2nd 66 and dobrostang autocrossing

C0-D26-DA5-A1-C5-4-C28-963-B-2426071-E8-AFC
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Last edited by Huskinhano; 09-19-2019 at 12:31 AM.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 01:00 AM
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Neither one of our cars are pretty.

Lies.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:08 AM
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Lot's of great feedback on this thread. Following up as I assumed your car wasn't a driver or assembled. If it is a driver, I would recommend doing a quick mechanical safety check. Make a list of parts that are worn out and need to be first addressed. As someone else suggested, enjoy the car a little before diving in as your perspective may change after spending some time behind the wheel. Ultimately, its your car so do what makes you happy.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 04:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhutt View Post
Actually, you can install a power brake booster with a factory Z-bar, but you are limited to a 7" booster. I have one installed with my T5 conversion and it works well with the OE Kelsey Hayes front disc brakes.
Good to know. I stand corrected. Is that a custom booster mounting plate or adapter?
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ginpunk View Post
@norcalLmo If it was my car [and this is what I did] I'd get to know the car first...drive it, check it out in the drive way, and garage.

Then make a list of ALL the things you want to do and wait for at least 45 days. My list is on my cell phone.

During those 45 days, research that list as some things may fall off or be added.

Final thing, great resources and kind people frequent this website. And thank goodness for them. Take advantage of their generosity and knowledge, I do.
Just to add to it, during those 45 days, think long and hard about what you want in the end. I am also on several Mustang pages on Facebook and there are WAY too many posts that start out, "What should I add?" with absolutely no mention of what they want to accomplish. Usually all they want is a little bling or such.

Do you want a casual everyday driver? mileage and comfort might be high on list
Week end cruiser? Low end punch and a little loud
Canyon carver? Lets look at some handling upgrade$
Drag racer? Plenty of rumble under the hood
Autocross? More handling
Show car? Factory original or restomod?

Decide where you want to go and it will help you plot which upgrades to make first.

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 #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 11:50 AM Thread Starter
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WOW! GREAT info gang!! I REALLY appreciate the feedback - My 66' is a driver and I've gone through the brakes and with exception of a 'sticking' e-brake cable they seem to be good. My 'Want List' has begun and I'll keep ya'lls posted on my progress.

Thanks again and BE SAFE out there!
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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 01:01 PM
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I've been in the process of similar upgrades to my 66 coupe and can share the following

I'm in Canada so options for suppliers is a bit tough because of shipping cost. I tend to go to Summit for most things as they have good prices and shipping is cheap or free to Canada. It has limited my options a bit

Most of what I've been installing is under the Scott Drake brand. I know the brand isn't what it once was but I haven't had and major issues except for some front springs that sat too low. Everything else has been fine.

You can check out my progress in my build thread if you'd like.

So far
SD power disc brake conversion. Happy with it but in hindsight might have been happier with non power, but I will likely never know.

Cooling upgrades. Stayed basic with a 2 core aluminum rad, 6 blade clutch fan and an OEM shroud. Seems to work well

Suspension upgrades. SD coils and 5 leaf stock height all matched with KYB gas adjust shocks. The front sits too low so I'm fixing that. The rear is higher than stock but I like the old school rake. The shocks a wee bit stiff but I'll good with them and didn't want to spend more.

SD export brace and Monte Carlo bar. Tough install but a must do in my mind.

Wheels and tires. I did 15" TTDs, 7" (3.75 BS) front and 8" (4.5 BS) rear, 215/60 front and 235/60 rear. At first everything rubbed the fenders when hitting bumps, front and rear. With the rear leafs done and the butt up a bit from stock, the rear no longer rub but would at full suspension travel. The fronts have been a challenge and I still don't have it fully solved. One side seems to just clear and one side doesn't quite. I'm hoping that after I'm at stock ride height and have a good alignment with a wee bit of negative camber, my front rubbing will be solved. I can probably pick up a little clearance with a fender alignment tweak as well. I don't want to roll the fenders so if all else fails I'll pick up some 6" wheels for the front. That will definitely move the outboard edge of the 215 inward enough. Fun and games.
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 09-19-2019, 11:57 PM
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Did I miss something, or did no one suggest the "Arning Drop"?
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