Next Crazy Idea: '66 Mustang 6 Cylinder

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TX south plains
I've got a hankering to get a '65 or '66 Mustang. I'm thinking about getting a 6 cylinder coupe to be easy to work on and because my first car was a red one ('66). Got a few questions: 1. What's the best way to find a good (i.e. rust free) one? 2. Good websites/forums to get information? 3. Good mods to make it more drivable (head upgrade, ignition, brakes, etc)? TIA, Tony
 
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BTW - there was a 64 1/2 year Mustang. Know how you can tell? Why wouldn't you want a V8 289?
 
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cadfaeltex

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Originally Posted By: Donald
BTW - there was a 64 1/2 year Mustang. Know how you can tell? Why wouldn't you want a V8 289?
If you would have asked me about a 289 before I would have preferred it but at this point nostalgia for me and cheaper in. I do know there was a 64 1/2 but it came with the 170cid six. I guess part of the challenge of the six would be to get good gas mileage (relatively speaking) out of a classic.
 

OVERKILL

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If you know a good machine shop, you can have a stock head milled and ported. Fitted with a good cam and aftermarket intake/carb setup, the car would rock.
 
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Sunny Florida
yep, Overkill is right on. Clifford research has really cool intakes for sixes. I ran a slant six in High School in an old Valiant, and it was actually pretty strong with a tiny 4 barrel and a header we cobbled up. I would like to set up an older six cylinder Stang for handling and braking, as the weight would be way down if you stuck with the manual trans. Could be really cool!
 
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I too would get a six. Nothing against the V8 cars, but I've got a soft spot for base models when they're clean and all-original. For the same reason, I'd LOVE to have an '82 or so Camaro with the 2.5 liter Iron Duke 4-cyl.
 
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The 64 1/2 model year had a generator rather than an alternator. At least on one of the engine choices, if there was one. They went to an alternator in 65.
 
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I have a collection of Hot Rod magazine articles on early mustangs with 6 bangers. I love that setup. Lot of room to work under the hood and with the right mods they are pretty peppy. My ideal of course would be to drop a somewhat built 300 cid inline six from the F150 into an old mustang. The 200 cid was popular, I think the 250 had the exhaust manifold intregal to the head, but guys had it removed and machined it to take an aftermarket header. Go dual exhaust headers for sure.
 

cadfaeltex

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The more I read the more I like the idea of this project. Spent a bit looking at the Clifford 6=8 site and some interesting possibilities. Doesn't even look too hard to do a 5 speed conversion (though I don't know if I would be up to that right at first).
 
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The 200 and 250 six have an integrated intake manifold that's cast as part of the head. This is your real power limiter in these engines. Classic Inline makes the aluminum cross-flow head posted above... if you want to spend $2,000. I've also heard of people getting friendly with a fabricator, cutting off the integrated intake, and repurposing a set of Offy manifolds to do sidedraft Webers. Also, pay attention to what year engine you pick up. The bellhousing bolt pattern changed from year to year. IIRC, sometime in 1965, the bell housing changed. The early engines are drilled specifically for a bell housing that will only fit a 3 speed trans and late 1965 (and later) engines will accept a bell housing that is drilled for both 3 and 4 speeds transmissions, including the top loader. This really opens up your transmission options. A friend owned a 1965 Mustang with a 200 six. No modifications other than a retrofit Pertronix electronic ignition. Being a small bellhousing '65 engine, he was stuck with an unreliable and scarce 3 speed manufactured by an English company called Dagenham. When he purchased the car, the transmission was dead. While he was having the trans refreshed, he yanked the engine to do some detailing and have some head work done (hardened seats so he could run unleaded gas). Putting it back together, we found the block cracked between the freeze plugs. He picked up a '66 engine (for free!) and that's when we learned about the differences in the bellhousing bolt pattern. Since the trans was just refreshed and he didn't want to scrap it to pick up something that would fit the '66 engine, he decided that he'd just find a small bellhousing '65 engine and stick with it. In retrospect, that was his biggest mistake. The 3 speed ended up needing yearly rebuilds. The failures were always gear related and he had multiple individuals rebuilding them, so it wasn't the same guy making the same mistake again and again. Looking back, it was probably something bigger, like case distortion or a casting problem, and he was just treating the symptoms of a larger problem. All in all, he had it rebuilt at least 5 times in as many years. Anyway, had he kept that '66 engine and picked up a four speed to put behind it, he'd probably still own the car. As it was, he ended up selling the car, 200 miles from home with a busted transmission, to the owner of an auto electric business who restored Mustangs. Being a rust-free and otherwise clean car, he purchased it on behalf of his dentist with the intent of just throwing in a 289 and auto trans that he had laying around.
 
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Originally Posted By: SteveSRT8
yep, Overkill is right on. Clifford research has really cool intakes for sixes. I ran a slant six in High School in an old Valiant, and it was actually pretty strong with a tiny 4 barrel and a header we cobbled up.
Clifford is awesome! Their motto was "6=8". When I first got my 1978 Jeep CJ7 (which I still own today!) in high school I put Clifford parts on the 258 6cyl. I got the split headers and a custom true dual exhaust and the Clifford intake with the 390cfm 4bbl carb. That jeep walked away from a buddy who had 304 V8 in his jeep. The 3spd tranmission is what hurt the thing having even better performance. LAter on I removed the 4bl and put on a Weber carb and it was smoother and more mpgs but a tad less power. Today the Jeep has a 350V8, but I still got the original 258.
 
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19,686
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Nice jeep. I've actually got my eye out for a good looking one. I would rather have the old six for weight and economy, and I just know you could make that thing scream with a few good pieces. I surprised many a rich kid at school with that old Valiant!
 
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Texas
How good is the aftermarket support for the Ford inlines (other than the 300, which as already mentioned is too heavy for this scheme)? The Mopar Slant-6 has a serious cult following and you can get just about anything imaginable for it, although parts for a slanty still can total up more than comparable parts for a 440 big-block. If the Fords don't have that kind of following, you might find out that it costs quite a bit more to build a nice 250 than it does a 289. That said, I always like the idea of something one or two standard deviations off the mean, and an I6 Mustang that eats 289's is right up that alley. I drove a 250/C4 Comet for a while in college- boring but un-killable.
 
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