1 2
mancha New Reader
12/1/13 8:13 p.m.

Where to begin...

I purchased my 1968 Mustang back in September of this year with the high hopes of repairing a few items and using it as a driver. I realize I probably (read: definitely) overpaid for the car, but I was tired of checking out rusty E36 M3boxes from craigslist. Sadly, this was the cleanest car I had found up until that point. Unfortunately the drive home 2 hours away, turned into a 5 hour journey, as the car could only make it about 10 minutes down the road before being on the verge of overheating. The auto trans would also shift at very high RPM even under part throttle. The power steering is leaking from every component, and the car wonders like a toddler at a theme park. But it sure is pretty...

Fast forward a month, and I had the good fortune of picking up a complete 5.0 and T5 out of a 1986 GT for a paltry sum, with the intentions of swapping out the junk motor and trans that are in the car now. I'll be sticking with the carb, mainly for ease of installation, but I do have a few questions. I'm trying to do this all on a somewhat tight budget, so the more parts I can reuse, the better.

  1. So, the roller block requires a dizzy with a steal gear, fine. However the 86 dizzy is 5 1/2 inches from tip to seat, whereas the 68 dizzy is 5 inches. Anyone know for sure which length is correct for my application, since I'll be using the 68 oil pump and pan?

  2. Can I use the 68 timing cover with the fox accessories? I'd like to use the fox accessories so I don't have to buy a custom 50oz balancer with the 68 crank pulley bolt pattern. Plus I have a 3g 130a alternator I picked up as well. The 68 timing cover has provisions for the mechanical fuel pump and front mount dipstick, which are both needed. I'd also like to use the fox waterpump to go with the fox radiator I have.

I basically have both complete engines to use as I need.

As for the steering issues, I'll be swapping out the power drag link for a manual one I picked up. Buh-bye numb over-powered steering. I won't miss the leaks one bit.

Then it's just a matter of replacing a few misc safety items, oh, and rebuilding the whole freaking suspension. Easy peasy...

Questions, concerns, comments, suggestions, how-to's are all welcome. Thanks for reading folks.

Junkyard_Dog Dork
12/1/13 8:28 p.m.

Pictures please!

oldtin UltraDork
12/1/13 8:31 p.m.

the dist you want is from an 85 gt (not cobra) convertible for carb on a roller engine . Not sure on the oil shaft length, but since you have both oil pans - measure the depth and be sure. For the pulley - why not just redrill the 68 with 4 holes instead of 3. and use the 68 bits. Just make sure whatever balance you have matches front & rear.

mancha New Reader
12/1/13 8:54 p.m.

I'm wanting to stick with the fox accessories to make use of the 3g 130a alternator, the crank pulley, and the fox water pump, which is reverse rotation, because I'm going to be using the fox radiator as well.

I've found several Ford 302 HEI dizzy's on ebay that have the steel gear, just not sure which to purchase. I've heard of using the 85 GT dizzy, but that's for converting a fox EFI car to carb. Since I'll be using a different oil pan and pump, I want to make sure and get the right dizzy.

mancha New Reader
12/1/13 8:56 p.m.

 photo 0162_zpsaf187823.jpg

cdowd Reader
12/2/13 8:15 a.m.

In reply to mancha:

it looks like you have a very nice start to your project. I have no info on the swap but congratulations.

AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
12/2/13 9:32 a.m.

if the '86 is EFI then it is probably the most retro-swap friendly EFI engine ever made. all you need is the right fuel pump, and maybe a return line to the tank (sorry, i don't know that detail). other than that, it's a really straight-forward wiring job.

mancha New Reader
12/2/13 6:14 p.m.

Trust me, I would've gone EFI if I honestly thought I could've salvaged it from the donor car. Unfortunately the car had been visited by the "this is why you don't leave a car sitting in a field" fairy (rodents), so I would've needed all new wiring and sensors. That's just not in the budget. Eventually I'll yank an explorer engine with MAF and DIS for reliability and tuning, but for now, a good ole carb is going to have to do the trick.

noddaz GRM+ Memberand Dork
12/2/13 8:07 p.m.

Very nice... BTW, Classic Motorsports did a rebuild/freshen-up of a Shelby Mustang recently. They had fun with the power steering also. Maybe you should look into what they did to fix the Shelby...

N Sperlo
N Sperlo MegaDork
12/2/13 8:34 p.m.

I just pitched a tent in my pants. Don't mind me. I'll be here a while.

mancha New Reader
12/7/13 7:12 p.m.

So after a day disassembling and cleaning engine parts in the garage, I've got a bit of a dilemma on my hands. Perhaps the hive can help me decide which route to take? I've got 2 engines and 2 transmissions, which to use?

My buddy and I have to move across town in 7 weeks, so the car needs to be able to move by then. We're taking my 68 and his 66 to Vegas for the 50th, which is a month and a half after that, and that's a long drive.

1980 engine:


  1. Already in the car

  2. Cheapest to get car up and running

  3. Works with trans that's already in car

  4. Just needs to be cleaned and top end reassembled. I could probably get away with head gasket set ($80) and water pump ($30)

  5. Able to drive car while I build a decent engine out of the other one

  6. My buddy had a set of GT40 heads off a 96 explorer that would help it breathe a bit better


  1. Smog motor from the worst time period for engines.

  2. Non roller block

  3. Needs a specialty (read: $$) flywheel to work with T5 conversion (1980 engine is 28oz imbalance vs 1986 engine at 50oz)

  4. Points ignition sucks

  5. Internal water passages look worse than the 86 block

  6. It's already been bored 30 thousandths over

1986 engine:


  1. roller cam block <-- BIGGEST PRO

  2. Already Cleaned up

  3. Correct imbalance for T5

  4. In order to use this engine, I'd need head gasket set (90), water pump (40), specialty distributor (90), and timing chain set (30)

  5. Already have flywheel for use with T5, resurfaced and ready to go


  1. Needs more $ to get going than the 1980 engine (though not too much)

  2. Swapping engines in 1 car garage is going to be a nightmare

  3. My buddy and I have tried getting the valves out of the heads, but the keepers are NOT coming out. We tried several ways too. So, heads are iffy.

  4. In order to use different heads, I'd have to change out pistons, since 1986 GT pistons are true flat tops with no valve reliefs, so only stock heads/cam work. This, of course, is the 1986 only.

  5. In stock EFI form, it made a whopping 200hp, so without EFI it may make 205/210

C4 auto:


  1. It's in the car

  2. I get to keep my sweet center console

  3. I can facebook while eating and turning?

  4. I don't have to remove a transmission

  5. Good for cruising only, but so is the rest of the car, for now...


  1. It did dump fluid out on the cars last voyage, so it might be toast, might just be the modulator valve I replaced on it

  2. No overdrive

  3. I enjoy carving corners over drag racing, so I don't care for autos, especially in a muscle/pony/sports car

T5 manual:


  1. Uh... Because stick shift? Driving a vintage manual muscle/pony/sports car makes you feel like a BOSS. The clouds part, sunshine rains down, traffic moves out of the way, water tastes like beer, women take off their undergarments in hopes of losing them in your back seat, (This is all a true story, I read it on VMF.)

  2. Overdrive

  3. It goes into all gears when shifted

  4. Already purchased Xmember (80) and clutch pedal that works with cable clutch (370 - ouch)


  1. Unknown whether it actually works correctly.

  2. Needs clutch at minimum

  3. Driveshaft might have to be shortened by 1/2", some cars do, some don't

  4. Might have to trim floorpan around shifter

  5. Have to cut brake pedal

  6. Harder to drive at slow speeds with manual steering

I think my best bet might be to slap the 1980 engine back together with the T5. However, purchasing an expensive specialty flywheel to use till the 1986 engine is ready isn't very budget friendly. I've read you can use a regular 28oz 157 tooth flywheel that accepts a 10" clutch vs a 10.5", and then use a 1984 Mustang GT clutch. Can anyone confirm this?

aussiesmg MegaDork
12/7/13 7:23 p.m.

351/408 stroker with a Tremec, my Challenge Mustang rocks

mancha New Reader
12/7/13 7:35 p.m.

That would be super duper amazingly awesome! I'm assuming you had to pick up the 28oz 157 tooth flywheel since the 351w is 28oz imbalanced? Where'd you find it at? I'd love a healthy engine/trans combo, but they aren't in the budget till I get the rest of the car daily livable. If you know anyone selling a good running engine cheap let me know. I'd love a 351c, but they're getting hard to find.

Junkyard_Dog Dork
12/7/13 8:14 p.m.

Sell all the V8 stuff and build a 300ci turbo inline six backed by a T-56. In 6 days.

Because GRM.

mancha New Reader
12/7/13 8:24 p.m.
Junkyard_Dog wrote: Sell all the V8 stuff and build a 300ci turbo inline six backed by a T-56. In 6 days. Because GRM.

If I wanted a BMW...

mancha New Reader
12/11/13 11:32 a.m.

Alright, so I've decided to stick with the '86 302 and T5 combo, even though it will be a bit more work. I think it'll still be more reliable than the '80 302 and C4.

I definitely want to try and use the console at some point, but for now it'll have to wait. I'll probably end up using the stock shifter for test and tune, but I REALLY want a nice shiny Hurst with a black ball sticking up out of the floor. I know Hurst sell the sticks by themselves, but I have no idea which one has the right curve for the '68. Will the Hurst shifter handle bolt directly to the stock shifter?

I've pretty much got the '80 302 all apart, just need to remove the balancer to get the timing cover off. Then it'll be a mad dash swaparoo on Saturday.

Strike_Zero SuperDork
12/11/13 12:48 p.m.
mancha wrote:  photo 0162_zpsaf187823.jpg

Holy berk is that clean!!!

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
12/11/13 2:47 p.m.
Junkyard_Dog wrote: Sell all the V8 stuff and build a 300ci turbo inline six backed by a T-56. In 6 days. Because GRM.

I like the way that you think.

Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA Dork
12/13/13 11:54 a.m.

Whichever engine you decide to use, just build it up stock and get it rolling. You have two hard deadlines to meet. Start saving money for the motor /trans combo you really want and fix the car's other problems while it moves and drives. you will be much happier if you don't outflank yourself for the time being.

mancha New Reader
12/26/13 7:09 p.m.

Thanks Jerry!

We removed the C4 from underneath the car once the bellhousing was off, and the 80 302 came out from the hood. What an ordeal that was in a one car garage.

We then had to take out the master cylinder, brake booster, and steering column to get the pedal support out. Drilled all the holes for the clutch cable bracket and bolted it up. Then we reinstalled the booster and master cylinder. Going to have to bleed everything before she's ready to roll, but it was the only way.

After getting the clutch pedal parts in we installed the 86 302 short block from the top, and the T5 from the bottom. Again, more fun, as new curse words were invented. I cut down the old dipstick tube and filled it with sealant to fill the hole in the block where the old dipstick was. The back of the 86 heads have a crossover thermactor tube that I cut down and flipped sides to block the holes.

I also picked up a power to manual steering adaptor since every P/S component leaked horribly, and the whole system is super vague anyway.

Hope everyone had a good safe holiday. I'll try and keep you guys updated more often!

Gearheadotaku GRM+ Memberand UberDork
12/27/13 7:43 a.m.

Sounds like good progress. Extra points for manual trans installation!

Sky_Render Dork
12/27/13 9:35 a.m.

I'm going to the Mustang 50th Birthday event in Charlotte, NC.

Sweet car!

chandlerGTi SuperDork
12/27/13 10:28 a.m.

Don't know why I hadn't opened this thread before, I looked at the picture and saw my old mustang in black! I'll scan some photos tonight if I have time but mine was white and six cylinder. A great cruiser!

I'll watch this!

mancha New Reader
1/15/14 8:42 a.m.


Sort of...

After getting everything buttoned up, we went for a quick test drive around my apartment parking lot, and then noticed oil pressure was zero. Balls. I shut it down immediately and coasted into the garage. The one part underneath I didn't think to change out. The hex hole on top of the oil pump where the shaft seats had been wallowed out by the shaft. I have a new pump and shaft waiting to go in, i just had to take a break from it. Apparently the oil pump is going to be no fun, as I either have to remove a crossmember from under the car that's never been removed and has welded nuts inside the frame (eff you too, Ford), or my all time favorite way to start a repair job: Step 1 - Remove engine

A few other things I noticed on that quick trip around: The exhaust is leaking pretty good somewhere towards the engine. I got new collector doughnuts, but I really don't like how they went in. I chased the threads on the nuts and studs to make sure everything would play nice, and it's all really snug, but I can still see the doughnut on both sides. I thought they would've been pressed into the collector from the pressure of bolting the manifolds to them. Guess not? The clutch is relatively stiff. It's a stock parts store special, so I wouldn't think it would be tough. I mean, it's not bad, but it won't be fun in traffic, and I've seen the same clutch setup able to be pushed in with two fingers. I'm sure it has something to do with adjusting the end of the cable vs the firewall adjuster. Maybe.. Manual steering ain't so bad when you have 195's all around!!

Whelp. There you have it. I know, I suck with the updates, and this thread is useless without pics... When I get all moved in I'll take some photos for you guys. Promises!!!

Oh, and if anybody wants to change out an oil pump...

Woody GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/15/14 9:16 a.m.

I removed the oil pan in one of my '65s with the engine in the car. It is a little tight. No need to pull the engine, but you may want to unbolt it from the motor mounts and raise it a few inches.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners