Jeff Ford
March 1, 2013

'69½-'77 Maverick ('71-'77 Mercury Comet)
Top of shock tower width: 25 inches
Bottom of shock tower width: 2258 inches
Framerail width: 26½ inches

The Maverick was, like the '60-'65 Falcon and '65-'66 Mustang, never destined to carry anything bigger than a 302. Thus the shock tower tops on this car are the narrowest in the line. The only area where the Maverick gets better marks is the transmission tunnel, which is much like the '65-'70 Mustang. We feel pretty confident that the Maverick and '71-'77 Comet will need to use the Mustang II suspension to allow enough room for the 28-inch-wide 5.0.

Needful things

There are a couple of ways a builder can go, either with the Mustang-II-style or the strut-style suspension with a shock tower notching kit. Either set up will set you back in the neighborhood of $3,000 to $4,000. The Mustang-II-style setup will work with all applications. Modifications depend on the engine bay, and smaller framerails will require custom exhaust. The T-56 Transmission will require tunnel mods on most all applications.

With a modified strut suspension, fitment may be an issue with Maverick and Falcon chassis. Modifications, again, depend on the engine bay. Smaller framerails will require custom exhaust, a shock tower notching kit, and a front-sump oil pan and pickup. Using the T-56 Transmission will require tunnel mods on most all applications. Here's a look at the various transmission upgrades and their measurements.


Outside of the four-speed, the C4 is the smallest transmission Ford placed in the cars we're talking about.


Note that the AODE and the 4R70W are dimensionally similar. Mustang Central only had an older Windsor-based AOD at its shop. Case and bellhousing sizes will be very close between the two transmissions. The Falcon can fit an AOD, but the "blocks" (red arrows) will need to be allowed for.

T-45 Five-Speed

We've managed to sneak a T-45 into a Mustang with only minor transmission crossmember mods, but it is a tight fit. Also, the T-45 may move forward or back in the tunnel with the application of the 5.0 Coyote.

T-56 Six-Speed

Big is one word to describe this formidable transmission. When hunkered down next to the C4 automatic, it is easy to see why tunnel mods are necessary with the T-56. This one won't fit into the tunnel on almost any Mustang. The '71-'73 might have a chance, but we're not counting on it.