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I bought the Comet in 2006 off Ebay. My dad sold mercury's in the 60's and I have always liked the 65 Comet. It is a Caliente with 289 c4 and 8 inch.
I was just going to paint the car and drive it for a litte while. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to do so now 5 years later it is basiclly a shell with the rear in it. Here are some photos from the day I got it.




[imghttp://home.comcast.net/~arabian454/pwpimages/comet%20web%20%283%29.JPG[/img]

I actually started to get it ready for paint back in 2006 lol. The car had orig paint and it was thin so going to metal was pretty quick. plus no previous bodywork. except for fugly RF fender




First to go were the holes for qtr panel emblems



Then epoxy primer



Then it got pushed into back of garage and basiclly forgotten about. My kid got into imports and Mitsubishi's took up my spare time and garage for awhile. He then went to college which cut into the budget.
Over the last 5 years I have gathered a lot of parts and removed just about everything. Recently I started working on it again.
Started with the left front, Stitch welding all the seams.



The apron/shelf where the battery was had some holes so I cut that section out



The battery will be in the trunk so I didn't really want the shelf thing and wanted to try and duplicate the LF apron. Make the engine compartment look a little more uniform? So I got a LF apron for a early mustang at laurel mountain mustang, trimmed it to fit and welded it in. The right and left do resemble each other now, just the design it raised instead of recessed.





I also went inside the car and stich welded the seams where the inner rocker, inner door hinge post and toeboard/firewall comes together




I hope starting this thread gets me going on this, I do plan on working on it weekly, Next I got a few seams inside engine compartment to finish and then epoxy the right front aprons and such. Then to the other side. Building the car for Cruises, strip maybe a couple times a year and just a cool car to cruise around in. Hopefully when the car is done it will be a lot of fun.
 

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That looks like a very solid foundation.Keep us informed on your progress.I've had my 65 Comet for over 44 years,was a mid 10 second car,building a bigger engine now. ROY.
 

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I like the 65 comet the best I had a 65 cyclone one I wish did not get away.Take a lot of pics for us looks like a good start,Any plans for the drive-train...ED
 

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Looks like you have a very nice foundation to work with. Hope it maintains your interest enough for you to keep at it. Keep us up to date with what you plan to do and, of course, take plenty of photos along the way.

Perhaps some day we can meet up at PRP and go a round or two.

Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
That looks like a very solid foundation.Keep us informed on your progress.I've had my 65 Comet for over 44 years,was a mid 10 second car,building a bigger engine now. ROY.
I was actually kind of surprised how solid the car is, esp for a PA car. The last inspection ran out in 85 and the car was stored inside since then. 44 years is a long time to have a car. mid tens is FAST my won't be that fast not in the budget at this time, maybe later in life.

I like the 65 comet the best I had a 65 cyclone one I wish did not get away.Take a lot of pics for us looks like a good start,Any plans for the drive-train...ED
I really like the style of the 65 comet. I really don't see any at the local cruises. at least not in my area. So having something diff will be cool. I was going to make it a cyclone clone but then I would have to find all the cyclone parts. I am just going to resto-mod it. I do have a cyclone grill for it though. Plans for the drivetrain. Probally just going to buy the ford motorsports 306 crate engine. If I run into some extra money I like the Coast High Perf 347. But right now not in the budget. T-5 trans, although if I found good top-loader that would be cool also. Will definitly be a stick. I have a 9 inch from versailles in it right now.

Looks like you have a very nice foundation to work with. Hope it maintains your interest enough for you to keep at it. Keep us up to date with what you plan to do and, of course, take plenty of photos along the way.

Perhaps some day we can meet up at PRP and go a round or two.

Good Luck!
The car is solid, worst part is holes in rear floor but that will be cut out when I fab the sub-frame connector's, and it does have some rot in LR lower qtr behind wheel but nothing too bad. I think I am at the point now that it will keep my interest. I have most of the parts (except eng/trans)
I have crites fiberglass hood, fenders, and trunk lid for it. their spring relocation kit, re-crhomed bumpers and tail lights. New Griffin aluminum rad, lower cross brace for eng mounts. and bunch other stuff.

PRP yea sure. I live pretty close to PRP (about 20 min) go there a few times a year. Have you gone to their nostalgia drags? went last year a lot of cool old cars, a lot of nice fords. My car will not be as fast as yours, I wish! But i'll still go for some runs.

Lou
 

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PRP yea sure. I live pretty close to PRP (about 20 min) go there a few times a year. Have you gone to their nostalgia drags? went last year a lot of cool old cars, a lot of nice fords. My car will not be as fast as yours, I wish! But i'll still go for some runs.

Lou
I live about an hour beyond Altoona and so it is close to a 2 hour trip for me with the trailer. Raced there once before and thought it was a great track. Just watch for the bump in the shutdown and hope that the brakes don't fail unless one likes to go airborne. LOL

Actually yes I will be at the Nostalgia drags this year (Sept 10th.) I should have my car together and I am a member of Prostick which is one of the stick classes being run.
 

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Forget about those ricers and get working on that comet! :D...I have always loved the calientes..Looks like you have a nice straight one..What are the plans for the drivetrain?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I live about an hour beyond Altoona and so it is close to a 2 hour trip for me with the trailer. Raced there once before and thought it was a great track. Just watch for the bump in the shutdown and hope that the brakes don't fail unless one likes to go airborne. LOL

Actually yes I will be at the Nostalgia drags this year (Sept 10th.) I should have my car together and I am a member of Prostick which is one of the stick classes being run.
Been going there since I was a kid. I raced there when I was a teenager and the track was called Keystone Raceway. Last year My kid took me to the nostalgia drags on my birthday we had a blast. I will have to look for the photos and post some on the track photo thread.

Noticed a few cars with the stickshift logo you have in your sig. thinking one may have been a red fairlane with 427?

I was wandering around the FM forums and see that you won your championship last year? CONGRATES! Will be a honor to run (be beat) by a Champion. Don't know if comet will be finished for this year but I will be there on Sept 10.

Forget about those ricers and get working on that comet! :D...I have always loved the calientes..Looks like you have a nice straight one..What are the plans for the drivetrain?
LOL Kid's car is a work in progress, aren't they all. Have to put a trans and transfer case in it this summer but that is all he has planned for me so far.

Comet is a priority and I am going to dedicate 1 or 2 days a week to it till it is done.

Drivetrain plan right now is 306 motorsport crate engine, T5, with 4:11's. I would love to get a CHP stroker but budget won't support it right now. Budget for engine is 5k but could change. I still have the orig 289 if I need it.
 

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The 65 Comet was my very first car when I could drive.....I really liked it and as others said "I wish I kept it"! It was a handful for me then being the charging system would eat batteries every few months but Sears always replaced the battery since they couldn't find the problem. Mine only had a 6 in her with a 2 speed auto and I learned a lot on that car. It was torquiose(sp?) with a lighter interior. I also went thru third members and leaf springs since I kept getting old salvage yard parts. When I left home I got a 70 Stang and never looked back.
I sure would have made that 65 into a drag car for sure....how sweet that would have been!

Keep that build going!
 

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Noticed a few cars with the stickshift logo you have in your sig. thinking one may have been a red fairlane with 427?

I was wandering around the FM forums and see that you won your championship last year? CONGRATES! Will be a honor to run (be beat) by a Champion. Don't know if comet will be finished for this year but I will be there on Sept 10.
"Real race cars have a clutch" is the theme of Prostick-a stick club made up of people primarily from PA, VA, and MD. We travel to different tracks throughout the year primarily in each of those states. Unfortunately I missed PRP last year because I was chasing points at my home track. We have a couple of newer cars that are grand fathered, but current requirement is to have a 79' or older stick car that is 11.99 or faster. Most of these cars are show car quality and yet run 10's or so. Nothing is more exciting that a wheel standing stick car race.

The red 66' Fairlane with the FE 427 would be Paul. Stunningly beautiful car and he beats the crap out of it. Here we are at my home track:



Would love to see you put a stick in that Comet (and a little HP) and come join us: Pro Stick Racing A nice CHP 347 would certainly do. ;)

Sorry for the sales pitch--I am such a drag racing nut case. :)
 

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So Dennis, looks like you tree'd the BB in this pic, what was the final outcome. Pretty darn good for a stock suspension small block to get the goods on the tubbed, wheelie bar race car! I hope I have mine together soon to get some of the PS action. Not sure it will get into 11:99 though?:frown:. It better or I will be a little disapointed.
"Real race cars have a clutch" is the theme of Prostick-a stick club made up of people primarily from PA, VA, and MD. We travel to different tracks throughout the year primarily in each of those states. Unfortunately I missed PRP last year because I was chasing points at my home track. We have a couple of newer cars that are grand fathered, but current requirement is to have a 79' or older stick car that is 11.99 or faster. Most of these cars are show car quality and yet run 10's or so. Nothing is more exciting that a wheel standing stick car race.

The red 66' Fairlane with the FE 427 would be Paul. Stunningly beautiful car and he beats the crap out of it. Here we are at my home track:



Would love to see you put a stick in that Comet (and a little HP) and come join us: Pro Stick Racing A nice CHP 347 would certainly do. ;)

Sorry for the sales pitch--I am such a drag racing nut case. :)
 

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It does look like I nailed the tree but I am sure that was only a time trial. Since he is one of those 10 second guys, I am pretty sure I was I watching his tail lights most of the run. LOL.

Here is his normal launch MO:



With your planned power plant you certainly would make the cut--if you can get enough traction, that is. It would be cool to meet up. We do MIR, Radford, and Manassas down you way.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
"Real race cars have a clutch" is the theme of Prostick-a stick club made up of people primarily from PA, VA, and MD. We travel to different tracks throughout the year primarily in each of those states. Unfortunately I missed PRP last year because I was chasing points at my home track. We have a couple of newer cars that are grand fathered, but current requirement is to have a 79' or older stick car that is 11.99 or faster. Most of these cars are show car quality and yet run 10's or so. Nothing is more exciting that a wheel standing stick car race.

The red 66' Fairlane with the FE 427 would be Paul. Stunningly beautiful car and he beats the crap out of it. Here we are at my home track:



Would love to see you put a stick in that Comet (and a little HP) and come join us: Pro Stick Racing A nice CHP 347 would certainly do. ;)

Sorry for the sales pitch--I am such a drag racing nut case. :)
That's the car, and it is beautiful. Plans definitly include stick in comet but prob t5. not sure how much HP a t5 will handle? Would toploader be better choice? Comet is going to be more of a cruise car. I have thought about making it more of a strip car(many times) But I have a boat and spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer months. Price of gas may hurt that this year:( Going to drags is more of a spring and fall thing for me. Hopefully get sometime to work on Comet this weekend.
 

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It does look like I nailed the tree but I am sure that was only a time trial. Since he is one of those 10 second guys, I am pretty sure I was I watching his tail lights most of the run. LOL.

Here is his normal launch MO:



With your planned power plant you certainly would make the cut--if you can get enough traction, that is. It would be cool to meet up. We do MIR, Radford, and Manassas down you way.
I think I will use a new quote for my ride "I would rather be traction inhibited than horspower limited", in the end its all the same ET.
 

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Plans definitly include stick in comet but prob t5. not sure how much HP a t5 will handle? Would toploader be better choice? Comet is going to be more of a cruise car. I have thought about making it more of a strip car(many times)
Toploader is much stronger that a T5 (or can be.) A T5 is a nice shifting transmission which has OD--Just what you need when cruising down town Jennette. :)

Seriously, if you are going to cruise the highways for an hour or more (and often) the T5 is a good tranny behind a small block. They can be a hit or a miss at the track as some hold up great and others seem to break just thinking about going down the strip with sticky tires. I have an Altoona friend who has one behind a 408w and granny shifts. Runs low 12's and a few high 11's with lots of .02x 60'ers. So far he has averaged one breakdown every season so now he keeps a fresh spare. Parts seem to be reasonable and I believe he buys only Tremec original parts.

Toploader parts are reasonable too and 100% of everything is reproduced and can be gotten in a day or 2 in most cases. Mine takes some serious abuse (5K launches on slicks) and only wimpers every once in a while. I also keep a fresh spare around because they are a little time consuming to tear down. I also keep a small stock of critical parts, just in case. They are practically bulletproof on the street, but then again, no overdrive.


But I have a boat and spend a lot of time at the lake in the summer months.
Raystown lake?
 

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Got to work on the Comet a little this weekend. I moved on to the rad support. Started with the pass side.


The 4 slots were to cool batt??? battery will be in trunk so I don't need them. I am going to conceal all wiring and not mounting anything on the inside of rad support but rad. The only things on front of rad support to be mounted are grill and bumper filler. So there were 7 or 8 holes on pass side I no longer needed, I cut out the slots first.


Then made patch to fit, had to fit inside cutout because I wanted both sides of patch to be flush.


Tacked in in place.


Then welded solid, repeated with the other pair of slots, then welded the holes. Used piece of copper for backing when doing the holes. after welding pass side looked like this


Moved to other side. it had 12 holes I no longer needed.
Before


After


Rad Support Before


After


Couple pin holes to take care of then will start on driver side aprons.
 

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Toploader is much stronger that a T5 (or can be.) A T5 is a nice shifting transmission which has OD--Just what you need when cruising down town Jennette. :)

Seriously, if you are going to cruise the highways for an hour or more (and often) the T5 is a good tranny behind a small block. They can be a hit or a miss at the track as some hold up great and others seem to break just thinking about going down the strip with sticky tires. I have an Altoona friend who has one behind a 408w and granny shifts. Runs low 12's and a few high 11's with lots of .02x 60'ers. So far he has averaged one breakdown every season so now he keeps a fresh spare. Parts seem to be reasonable and I believe he buys only Tremec original parts.

Toploader parts are reasonable too and 100% of everything is reproduced and can be gotten in a day or 2 in most cases. Mine takes some serious abuse (5K launches on slicks) and only wimpers every once in a while. I also keep a fresh spare around because they are a little time consuming to tear down. I also keep a small stock of critical parts, just in case. They are practically bulletproof on the street, but then again, no overdrive.

Raystown lake?
Bulletproof sounds better than overdrive to me. Not going to go on many long trips. I think I will look at toploaders. any advice on which one I would need/want for my comet??

I have been to Raystown lake a few times but, I actually go to Yough Lake. Been going there since I was a kid. Love it. Might be floating more than running, skiing, boarding this year though, Boat gets about 3.5/4 hours of run time on 30 gal fuel.
 

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Very nice cleanup of the radiator support. Well Done. :tup:

I asked about Raystown in that my friends with boats generally go to a cove, tie up together, and enjoy beverages. Not much boating other than that.

A 65-73 toploader is indeed near bullet proof for a street car (and can hold up at the strip too if built to big block specs.)

My choice would be one with a wide ratio (2.78) low first gear. Good for acceleration, street and strip. With a 306-347 in a light car you could get away with the 1 1/6" small block input and 28 spline output shaft for quite a while. The big block ones are stronger (of course) and use a 1 3/8" input, 31 spline output shaft. Unfortunately factory big blocks were only built as a close ratio. The aftermarket stepped up and they can give us a good replace big block input type input in wide ratio form. Because I was twisting small block transmission's input shafts week after week at the track once I got my suspension working, I updated it with the that adapter big block input and it holds up just fine. Later I swapped to the 31 spline output too.

Lots of good reading about the conversion here: http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/transmission-articles/482359-toploader-input-shaft-replacement.html

and here:

http://www.fordmuscleforums.com/transmission-articles/487117-31-spline-toploader-output-shaft-conversion.html

You will want a toploader with the long pilot shaft stub to fit a small block:



You have to be careful of the 390 as it has the small diameter input shaft/output shaft AND the short pilot bearing stub. The input can be swapped to a long one if needed though.

You want the wide mounting 8 bolt case used in late 65-73', not the narrow 4 bolt case used only in 64':






Avoid the late 70's OD 3 speed like the plague for performance use. It looks very similar to a good toploader 4 speed but uses a puny gear for OD. They are common and often cheaper than a normal toploader. Not a good source for parts either as the guts are pretty much unique. The case will be cast with at least a D7DR and maybe a D8 which signifies late 70's.

I do not know which output housing you would need for a Comet, but assume that the one from the 64/65 Falcon would be correct because it locates the shifter forward. The housing is 14" long and would require the common 24"' output shaft that is used in the Mustang/Cougar. David Kee sells a universal tailhousing that covers most applications by having multiple bolt-on locations, as seen on the bottom of this photo:



The top one is typical Mustang with the shifter at the rear.

This sounds like a lot of info, but the good thing about the toploader is that parts are very interchangeable in the factory case. Change 2nd, 3rd, 4th (then input shaft) gears and the cluster out and you can make a close ratio into a wide ratio and vice-versa. For this reason, don't automatically assume that the ID tag on the side of the case is correct in this respect. It is common to find a mis-match and the only real way to know is to remove the top cover and count the # of teeth on 2nd gear.

If you want some very good reading on the toploader I suggest visiting David Kees website: David Kee Toploader Transmissions, Inc.

I have bought stuff from David and have no complaints. I also get stuff from other vendors too. Getting any part for the toploader is really easy thanks to good vendors and Egay.

This summary should give you some idea of what you want and what to avoid. If you should need help with your toploader, just let me know as I have a little knowledge of them. ;) Due to my racing, I keep a few things around too.
 

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Thanks for the great info. Read your tech articles they were aslo great. You really know a lot about this huh? LOL I definitly will be looking for a toploader for my car. I think it would be cheaper in the long run.

I have been to David kees site before. So I guess getting one for a small block with the correct tailhousing would be the way to go. vs getting big block one and modifiying it?

Do you know if David kee sets up at Ford Carlisle?

Not like my car will be up and running anytime soon so I do have time to hunt down parts. You post will be a tremendous! help in my search

Thank you
Lou
 

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Yeah, I guess I know a little about toploaders as I thrash the hell out of them at the track. :D

Yes, I would probably find a good small block one that matches your car with the wide ratio gear set. A good small block toploader would probably work fine for you as-is unless you become a serious racer. Swapping to the bigger input is fairly easy if it becomes a problem, but from your intended usage you should be fine (unless you want go big in the first place.)

The output shaft would be harder as the 31 spline tailshaft requires a larger bore tailhousing. Early tailhousings (before 67) typically don't have enough meat to be bored and that is where the David Kee repo helps as it is available in either bore.

The nice thing about big block vs. small block parts is that the internal parts (except the afore mentioned input and output shafts) are the same and have the same strength. Ford built some of the toughest trannys ever found in a production car.

I have not seen David Kee at the Carlisle Ford show.
 
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