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20 Ford Mustang Performance Tips & Tricks - Tips 20 You Can't Live Without!
20 Tips That Made Us Say, "Gee, Why Didn't I Think Of That?"
Have you ever been working in your garage and had a friend look at a problem you were puzzling over and give you the exact solution? It always seems to come out something like this: "You know, if you had moved the whozzy-whatzit behind the flibber-flobber, you could have removed that doomaflotchy an hour ago." Stunningly, they are right. We hope that some of these tips will do the same thing for you as your friend. Certainly, some of them did that for us.
Along with the new tips, we had to include some old ones as well. These are for the newcomers to our hobby and are such staples that we can't help but put them in year after year. We also thoughtfully included icons that let you know what the tip is for. The Resto icon deals with such things as keeping the pedals clean before a show or how to attach mudflaps. The Shop icon shows some tips that will help keep things neat around the barn. The Tuning icon will give you tips that may help you tune or work on your steed. And finally, the Safety icon deals with things to keep you and your Mustang safe, whether on the road or in the garage.
Let's just say that you have a bulb that is no longer in production or is difficult to locate. We ran into this recently with the Lazarus Project. The 1187 flasher that Ford used on the brake warning light portion of the Convenience Group was not locally available, and we were at that stage where the dashpanel needed to be reassembled. This posed a problem. After years of being bashed around, the bulb's electrode was worn out. Contact with the power wire was sporadic at best; however, we tested the bulb and found it to be good. What to do? Simple. We just pulled out our soldering iron and soldered a new tip on the bulb, then ground it down to the basic shape of our good bulbs. We now have the correct flasher bulb at the cost of some solder.
Fuel system safety is a big issue for classic Mustang buffs. But there is much you can do to make the ride safer. Mustangs assembled prior to the summer of '67 suffer from poor fuel line routing where the fuel line travels close to the left, front wheelwell, making the line vulnerable to injury. A stray stone or an accident can damage the fuel line and potentially start a fire. If accuracy is less important to you than safety, we suggest retrofitting your '65 to early '67 Mustang with a late '67 Mustang body fuel line.
In the late '67, Ford rerouted the body fuel line behind the left-hand framerail extension and through the torque box to the framerail. This can be accomplished on '65 to early '67 Mustangs with minimal effort. For '67 Mustangs, you will have to bore a 31/44-inch access hole at the front and rear of the torque box in line with the body fuel line. For '65-'66 Mustangs, simply run the line along the framerail extension and join it to the forward framerail line with a 51/416- (six-cylinder or small-block) or 31/48-inch (big-block) fuel hose. In the interest of safety, we suggest you use a braided fuel line hose that will tolerate today's harmful fuel additives. You can even install a narrow inline fuel filter in this location for added measure.
Tune For Performance
For years, most of us have been using a timing light to time our engine's ignition system. But did you know that an engine can be timed without the use of a timing light and with better results? Your engine's timing mark is located on the harmonic balancer or crank pulley. Harmonic balancers consist of a hub and an outer ring separated by rubber. Over time, the rubber deteriorates, allowing the ring to slip, thereby disturbing the timing mark's position, which leads to an erroneous reading when we use a timing light. This is where the value of becoming at one with your engine comes into play.