1985 Ford Mustang Gt
Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
July 9, 2014

Fox FrameRails

HELP! I own a ’85 Mustang GT that is semi-restored minus a few things. The roughest thing being the rotted out frame rails. For about five years now, I’ve been attempting to find any shop that works on Mustangs in the surrounding DC, MD, and VA area. I live in Washington, DC and would like to know if you have any contacts who might know of any shops I could take my car to that knows all about and fixes Mustangs. Thanking you in advance.

Charles (last name withheld)
Washington, DC

While we have no direct personal experience with any shops in the area, when we asked around for recommendations in your area we heard about Espeut Performance in Landover, MD. While it appears they do a lot of Fox and newer Mustang performance work, they are a full service facility and can handle metal repair/replacement as well, such as your frame rails. Reach out to them at (301) 773-9223 or visit www.espeutperformance.com.

Saleen With a Six (Speed)

I have a ’89 Saleen Mustang, which I have owned since it was new. It now has 115,000 miles on it at this point, and it has a 3:55 rear axle. I am happy with everything about the car except when I am taking it on a long distance high-speed road trip. At 80 mph the engine rpm is at 3,000. I have been looking at the T-56 six-speed transmissions in the aftermarket parts catalogs, and I am wondering just how hard it would be to update my car with a six-speed trans. I realize that the $3,000 price tag is a lot of change, but I keep thinking how much fun I would have with an extra gear. What am I looking at to throw a T-56 into my 25 year old car?

Ray Charlton
Corvallis, OR

The T-56 you are considering, we’re assuming here by your price point, is the new T-56 Magnum based off of the TR-6060, as used in the Mustang GT 500. Installation parts will most likely run you another $1,000 depending upon how you piece it together. The guys at Modern Driveline (www.moderndriveline.com) offer complete kits with trans, bellhousing, crossmember, and more for a bolt-in swap, but it is pricey. If your time is valuable and you don’t want to go chasing down parts it is a great way to go. You can also piece a swap kit together if you’re looking to save some money. Using a new T-56 Magnum or a takeout ’03-’04 Cobra T-56; a Quicktime bellhousing; a crossmember from Stifflers, AJE Racing, etc.; and the correct driveshaft you could potentially save a good bit of cash. Don’t forget the T-56 is electric speedo only, so you’ll either need to use an electric to gear-drive adapter to keep the stock speedometer in your gauge cluster, or swap to an electronic gauge solution, such as Dakota Digital’s beautiful VHX cluster for the Fox Mustang.

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