David Stribling
June 26, 2012

Close to Home

I'm about to take an original '69 Mustang and rebuild it from the ground up. I'd like to make it more modern so that I can drive it and have great steering, suspension, and the works. Where do I begin and what companies supply various "modern" parts and kits for a build like this?

Jim Miller

Bluffton, IN

First place to check would be Dave Stribling Restorations just an hour south of you [www.davestriblingrestorations.com, (765) 362-1967], that's what they do. The owner is a bit "surly" at times, but they can help you get your project going.

Now, in an effort not to make this a direct plug, let's talk about "modern" vs. "performance." The trend recently has been away from show car originals and more toward nice, comfortable cars we can drive and enjoy. We're getting older and we like the way our Lincoln Navigators run down the road, and we want our toys to run that good and be just as safe. "Modified" used to mean headers, an intake, and 600-pound-per-inch coil springs, but the marketplace has expanded that definition greatly in the last couple of years.

Because of this, most of the major suppliers carry parts that make your car safer, handle better and make it more comfortable to drive. Modified doesn't mean just performance anymore, and the major vendors are now carrying a variety of components to make your car handle better, ride nicer, perform better, or a combination of the above. Three-point belts, collapsible steering columns, and four-wheel-disc brakes make our cars safer for daily driving. Fuel injection can add performance and efficiency at the same time, as it makes driveability better. The parts to make your Mustang a fire breather are still there, but the hobby has really opened up to a wider variety of options from luxury cruisers to vintage performance to King of the Street.

My advice is to continue to look at some of the trends here in the magazine, and find out what you really want to build. Chances are the vendors advertising here are already carrying the parts you need--they see the trends just as well as we do. Good luck with the '69.

Who's Valve Covers?

I have a question concerning the article "MCE Engines Builds a 427ci Ford Engine--Eight Barrels--No Waiting" from the Mar. '07 issue. I'm trying to find out who the manufacturer is of the valve covers used in this engine build. I'd like them for my engine, but I can't find the name of the brand from the pictures in the article. Can you direct me to the source for these valve covers?

Name Withheld

Via the Internet

Those valve covers look to me like the new reproduction stock '65 289 valve covers sold by most Mustang vendors [NPD PN 6582-20B or Mustangs Plus PN 05367 (blue)]. They also come pre-painted blue or in chrome. Note that to clear the roller rockers, MCE Engines used valve cover spacers painted black, but they sure do make for a nice retro look.

20 Lashes With a Shelby Cam

I'm resurrecting my '65 Mustang. I installed a Shelby Road and Drag cam with solid lifters, an Edelbrock F4B intake and a 650-cfm carb. I can't find the spec card for the camshaft I installed. I would like to know the cold valve lash settings for the cam. Can you help?

Tom Baggott

Dayton, OH

I can tell you settings for the camshaft hot, but not for cold. The original Shelby Performance catalog lists two different Road and Drag cams, one regular and one "Super." The regular Road and Drag cam has a valve lift of 0.445 and the Super version has a valve lift of 0.508. Duration for the regular is 284 degrees for both valves and 289 degrees for the super version. Hot valve adjustments for the regular Road and Drag cam is 0.018-inch on the intake and 0.020-inch on the exhaust. The lash setting for the Super Road and Drag cam is 0.025-inch for both intake and exhaust.

Where to Wipe

I'm in the process of adding an '02 Mustang 4.6L drivetrain, firewall, and dash conversion to a '65 Mustang fastback, very similar to the SN65 Mustang that was built by the Julian Brothers and featured in your Sept. '06 issue ("Don't Try This At Home," and you can read it online at www.mustangandfords.com/featuredvehicles/1964_1973_mustang/mufp_0609_1965_ford_ mustang_fastback_sn65/-Ed.)

I currently have installed all the metal for the firewall to bolt the dash in as seen in Cowl Underside Photo 42 on your website's version of the article. I also will be using the original cowl top section with the original wiper pivot holes. My question concerns the operation of the wipers. Can you provide photos or information on how the Julian Brothers installed the wiper mechanism to make the wipers work? Any help is appreciated. I have photos of the build on this restomod if you want to see them and need assistance ASAP, if possible!

David Reese

Forney, TX

I talked to Wayne at Julian's (www.sn65.com) to ask him how he did the conversion. The grafting of the firewall from the late model '03 to the '65 cowl left very little room for wiper motors, as the photos show. Neither the late-model setup, nor the original underdash-mounted '65 unit would work, so they used a universal wiper system used in street rods. These systems can be very easily adapted to the multi-function switch on the late-model column. Speedway Motors (www.speedwaymotors.com) carries what you're looking for under PN 911-23302. This is a universal cable drive system that should work in your application. It allows the mounting of the wiper motor in a remote location (inner fender, cowl side panel, behind the passenger airbag cavity) and uses a long cable drive to move the wiper transmission arms back and forth. Good luck with the project and don't be skimping on the pictures!

Bolt-on Bullitts

Hey, Dave! I love your "Garage Q&A." I have a '68 Mustang fastback with a 302ci V-8. It has the factory front disc and rear drum brake setup. I also have a set of '01 Mustang Bullitt 17-inch rims. One of your magazine advertisers (Mustangs Unlimited) has a "Late model wheel adapter kit" (see the ad on page 8, Feb. '12 issue). Is this all I need to install these late-model Mustang wheels on my '68? What size tires would fit without rubbing?

Pete Watson

Niagara Falls, Canada

The '01 Bullitt rims are a real good choice for the '68 body style--they look like they belong there. The reason for the adapter kit is that the wide 17-inch rims hit the upper control arm's ball joint. Remember, the late-model cars don't have an upper control arm, as they use a modified strut with a lower arm only. Plus these rims have a back spacing of 5.72 inches, compared to the backspace of around 4.5 inches on the stock rims. Using a 1-inch spacer in the front pushes the rim out to clear the ball joint, and gives the car a nice wide stance. The rear spacer is used to help keep the front and rear track the same for appearance sake.

A great article on wheel spacing can be found on our site www.mustangandfords.com/techarticles/suspension/mufp_0612_ford_mustang_wheel_fitment/index.html. Depending on spacing, I've found that the biggest tire I'm comfortable putting under the car is a P275/40R17 on a 9-inch rim. They did make some of the Bullitt rims in replica form in a 9-inch variation and Mustangs Unlimited has them under PN MW8G for $124.95 each. The P245/45R17 tires that were stock on the Bullitt will fit in the Mustang's wheelwells just fine if you don't want to go with the wider wheel or if you want a staggered fitment with the 9-inch in back.

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