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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a 65 coupe a year ago. It ran and drove and cost $6500. At that point, I had just totalled my 02 focus and had about $7000 cash from insurance. Picked the 65 over a 98 GT vert that was only $5500 but I'm a mechanic by profession so keeping the 65 driveable wasn't a big issue. In hindsight I overpaid for this car but seeing as how it was costing me $40/day in rentals I bit the bullet and got the best one I could at that time!

Rust, pitted chrome, crappy paint, 6cyl, and a below average interior.

What I've done so far:

New front suspension, everything except springs. This was an immediate need, the front end was so worn out it was unsafe. Spring perch rusted through the control arm, idler arm was about to fall off. I bought 6cyl parts to get me by, what can you do? I'll get springs soon, still havent decided on progressive rate or not.

Rear Suspension. Installed a 3.00 8" rear end along with a set of 1" drop springs, new shackles. I found a 65-66 rear end on craigslist with brake parts and figured this would be cost effective vs. redoing the 6cly drums. I actually bought two rear ends, picked the best axles, and used the housing that had Timken bearings in it, and sold the other, almost breaking even.

Granada front discs. I was going to convert to 65-66 discs, I ordered complete front knuckles from a yard on car-part.com, only to find that car had already been converted to Granada!!! With nobody to blame, I went ahead and overhauled them and installed with csrp conversion tie rod ends. Chevy Monza master and a Granada porp valve.

07 GT wheels. I had trouble finding 14" steel wheels with the right offset, lug pattern, it seems most places just scrap them. I did get one steel rim for my spare ($80 wtf!). Bought these takeoffs on craigslist from a guy who switched to the bullit wheels. They're a bit flashy on this car and I would love to have the V6 wheels with spinners but can only find them in 16" which wouldnt clear my upper control arm. Oh well, they dont look too bad. 1.5" spacers and 235/40 17 Goodyears.

Duraspark Conversion. This one got me from 20mpg to 26 mpg...but I didnt notice any increase in power (on top of my whopping 60hp). Got factory connectors from the yard, and found out the hard way that somewhere along the line, the red and white wires on the module connector switched places. No complaints though, and it is useable in one of my upcoming projects!

General repairs. So far, the car has been very reliable. I had to reinforce the passenger side torque box where the leaf spring bolt goes through, of course I'd love to do new sheet metal but this is a daily driver and I had to keep it on the road. I'll get pics of the repair next time I have it in the air...and a camera at work.

SO. I have a 289 in my kitchen (dont ask) thats about two weeks from being ready. Bought a bunch of parts from a buddy and saved alot of time and money on small things, which I promptly spent on machine work for the short block. I got a truck a couple months ago, which really opens my options on how long I can have the car out of service, but the car is still my primary driver. Heres the build:

.040 over 289 block
line bored, balanced, chamfered etc
Stock crank, rods, Clevite 77 bearings
speedpro hyper pistons & rings
Comp XE250H (fuel mileage was very important)
Tri-state Floo-tek aluminums 2.02/1.60 56cc
Elgin valves
Comp magnum rollers, and all the other valvetrain hardware
Flowtech ceramic 1.5" long tubes
Knock off airgap intake
Pypes 2.5" full exhaust

Since I like the 65 gold/black combo I wanted it to look fairly stock, and I think I've done a good job, with the exception of the headers. The air cleaner and valve covers are sand blasted and ready to paint, intake is black and the heads will be black when I get them back. I'll send them off when the valves come in for a valve job and mill to 56cc. I have one more order to make once I get the parts in hand, should be just pushrods and paint.

Next up is an Ivy/white pony interior. I wanted to keep the cash in hand until the motor is in and running, you never know right? I'll go ahead and weld in a radio patch panel and paint the interior panels, havent decided on using a 66 woodgrain cluster or having my falcon style redone. The wheel may have to wait unless I come across a good deal.

After that is body work. It's pretty rough underneath, core support is trash, floorpans are pretty bad, and the trunk/cabin transition is worrysome. If things go well at work, I'll be ready in summer 2010. Sticking with wimbledon white. When I do the interior I'll get a full assesment of the rust and make a decision on floorpan (full, long) replacement and gear up the backyard body shop.

Along the way I'll be doing some roller suspension mods (thats the fun stuff), and get better about finding time for the swap meets. Luckily I have an awesome girlfriend that tolerates me dumping money and time into this black hole.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ya the money doesn't make sense, but in the end, I get to drive a car that I like every day, and other people like it to boot. I've only had one other car that turned heads and it was too expensive to keep on the road (944). The way I see it I paid 16 for the Focus and got 7 back, so I'm still ahead on this one!!!

And I would like to hear which part of the money situation bugs you the most, I'm thick skinned.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm I was looking at the "engine in the kitchen pic", and noticed theres a bottle of rum hidden in there. Think I'll have a drink!
 

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Well... and I'm being NICE here, but you asked for it :)

To pay $6500 for a plain old 1965 Mustang coupe with a 170 CI engine, rusted all to hell is friggin' CRAZY....

You said "Rust, pitted chrome, crappy paint, 6cyl, and a below average interior."

That is a $350 dollar car, NOT a $6500 dollar car...

The rest is PERFECT. The build up and spindle and brake job was fantastic, but for $6500 you could have bought one already done and painted to boot....

That's all.

I am very pleased that you brought your project here! She looks GREAT! The 289 is going to be a blast!
The suspension upgrades are A1, everything about this car is cool!



FE
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It's true that I paid too much, I've seen quite a few better deals go by since then. But I was also in a tight spot needing a vehicle and all, and thats never a great way to have to buy a car.

It ran and drove, cold a/c, and presentable enough to drive around. If I had $10k I could have done wonders but I didn't.

I looked at a few, actually another white coupe with the ivy/white but they wouldn't wait till the insurance check cleared and sold it. Another was painted really nice, red, new interior, but was still yellow in the jambs. Made me wonder where else they where cutting corners. With the economy as it is I wish I could buy one right now instead, but thats what I got!
 

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nice project you got going there. :D

the engine in the garage reminds me of "War of the Worlds" with tom cruise (in the beginning).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Well the heads weren't ready Saturday, but the machinist said I should be able to come pick them up Monday at lunch. I've got everything out, the motor mounts, exhaust, and throttle linkage in, and I can probably put the heads and intake on sometime during the day. I don't get off work till 5:30 and the shop is closed at 9 so I have to work fast, hopefully it starts up fine! My boss would probably be pissed if it's there more than a day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I got the motor in but I'm still working out most of the kinks. The biggest of which is a miss, probably from cyl 5. I adjusted the valves again but didn't get anywhere. Cyls 1-4 are 250F or so, while 5-8 are about 180F, with number 5 only around 110F. I have spark there but havent really messed with the carb yet. Ill do a compression and leakdown tomorrow after work, along with changing the oil which is a little dark after about an hour running total. Also the trans I had wasn't ready to go after all, so I'll start the rebuild on that soon, meanwhile I have the trans from the I6 bolted up. The Pypes exhaust fit well except for the tailpipes, I'll probably have to have something done about those at the shop around the corner, or dump them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
tonight i did compression and leakdown, all was well. around 150 compression and about 15% leakdown with little variation between cylinders. (this is normal on this tester, our shop air is too high to run it full open) carb is running way too rich, so i'll order a overhaul kit and get all that sorted out. still runs with the adjusters all the way in so...

when you rap the throttle from under the hood you can tell that the engine is smooth, the vibration is felt in the car but you can put your hand on the valve cover and not feel anything except lope at idle, which im thinking is a combination of cam and fuel mixture.

for now im waiting on trans rebuild parts and i'll probably end up getting a flexplate and torque converter since i dont want to pull the trans out more than i have to with the headers on there. i'll order the rebuild kit somewhere along the way.

also need to figure out why my alternator isnt charging the battery but still runs the car...new alternator and regulator, tried another batery already.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I hooked up a vibration analyzer (the red rotunda one) and found that the vibration seems to be @ crank speed, so its most likely not a misfire. The flexplate was bent and is pretty suspect. In retrospect I dont know why the hell I used it, I wouldn't run that on a customers car that's for sure.

I have the new flexplate and the trans parts here, but it looks like I wont have a chance to put it in for a couple of weeks so in the meantime I'll try to get the carb situation worked out and some other minor things.

I sprayed the engine bay just to clean things up a little, and got the wiring tidied up for the most part. I'll post pics as soon as I take em. For future reference, not all 1G alternator harnesses have the same pinouts: the stator and field wires were swapped in the connector I got off the alternator that came with my motor. I pulled some hair out figuring out that one. Same goes for duraspark harnesses too, ask me how I know.

I got caught in traffic on 35 and the temp crept up, not high enough to pull over but it was only 60 or so that day. I may try to grab an alternator and some contour fans at the junkyard before summer.

And the brakes suck at 120.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I cleaned up the engine wiring with some wire loom, sanded and sprayed around the engine bay. I have the fans and fan controller on the way, I'll get that wired next week or so while I wait to get my trans done.
 

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Cool project. Id reinstall the export braces before driving, though. It sucks to have to wait before doing certain things. I wish I were made of money and had a huge shop and diddnt have to work and..............oh yeah, Im thinking of Jay Leno.

Oh yeah........you rent your place, don't you?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Cool project. Id reinstall the export braces before driving, though. It sucks to have to wait before doing certain things. I wish I were made of money and had a huge shop and diddnt have to work and..............oh yeah, Im thinking of Jay Leno.

Oh yeah........you rent your place, don't you?
Hmm no I don't rent but it hasn't quite been a year since I bought it. Why? And ya I keep forgetting to get the braces on, but I'm not driving it hardly at all until I get my other trans in.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
well alot has happened lately. I almost got done getting the trans together, only to find that some part of the gearset is mismatched. not a big deal, I got some helpful advice from the members on this forum and should be able to identify the incorrect part tomorrow, April 21.

About three weeks ago, I jump started the car, it kicked into reverse, and went down the street and hit another car.



Well that sucks, but It had some pretty shoddy body work that needed to be addressed anyway. Im doing the taillight panel, lower quarter patches, inner trunk floor extensions, and some patches on the outer wheel well, but I havent decided if I'll buy these or just make something up. Then I'll repaint the car.

 

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Discussion Starter #18
Nothing earth shattering, but I got my driveshaft cut 1.5" so I can return the diff to its correct position. I am using a falcon driveshaft, which is longer than what came with my car. I also installed new leaf spring center bolts.
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I bought a new interior, we're doing white with black appointments, picked by my girlfriend. All of that is itching to go, especially since I'm commuting in this car again. I have to weld in the dash repair panel, and figured I'll weld my lower quarter patches at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I have all the parts in for the new interior, except for a headliner and sunvisors. If my headliner isn't actually white, it's definitely close enough for the time being. I have to weld in a radio patch panel, then paint the dash and the interior metal. For now, I'm getting all the interior plastic that needs to be painted done, but I'm still driving the car so I haven't taken everything else out.

It's not quite as shiny as it looks in the photos.











 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
Got the rear seat done, I really should have got new padding but decided since nobody rides back there, I'd make due with what I got. It looks wrinkly but as its cooled its tightened up.




 
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