Bob Aliberto
February 1, 2001

Stick Man I recently started reading your magazine after deciding to move from motorcycle refurbishing to Mustang restoration. In five short months, you have answered almost every question I had about restoration-but a few specific questions about transmissions remain.

I love your article titled "How To: Swap in a Manual Transmission" and placing a five-speed in your vintage Mustang (Apr. 2000, page 30). This will be useful when I complete my Mustang (to be purchased). Also, your "Tech Tips 2000!" article (May 2000, page 20) was interesting. My questions stem from these articles.

First, in Tech Tips 2000 you refer to using a transmission from a six-cylinder engine. Is this the entire transmission or just the gearing for first gear? Second, my current project is a '67 six-cylinder hardtop for my father. He has the money but is short on time and workplace. I was wondering if a five-speed would work well with the six-cylinder.Shaun StewartPerry, FL

The six-cylinder transmission referred to in the article is indeed a complete unit. Most parts vendors will charge the same amount for either six-cylinder-style transmission, so it's simply a matter of choice when purchasing.

As you can see, the '67-and-later transmissions are basically the same between six-cylinder and small-block V-8 units; therefore, any five-speed conversion for a small-block V-8 will also apply to the six-cylinder vehicles. Early Mustangs with the new synchro-style trans-missions are not the same and must include '67-and-later clutches, flywheels, and bellhousings in order to complete the swap.

Adherence, PleaseI have been a subscriber to Mustang Monthly for the past six years, even though I have not owned a Mustang for more than 25 years. My family owns five vintage Cougars, and the information in your magazine is extremely helpful in maintaining and restoring these cars.

I have a question that I do not recall was addressed in Mustang Monthly. How did Ford get paint to adhere to chrome grilles and stainless trim pieces? The chrome grilles on a '68 Cougar have the sides painted argent silver. I cannot believe that Ford took the time to scuff these sides before painting. Do you know of anything on the market that we could use to make the paint adhere to this chrome piece? Any help would be appreciated.Bill QuayLockport, NY

You are correct in that Ford did not scuff the parts before painting and that surface preparation is necessary in order for paint to adhere to a shiny surface. The factories use a chemical to etch the surface of the trim pieces before paint application. The system works well but is not perfect, as evidenced by paint peeling off the trim on late-model vehicles throughout the years.

I suggest you use a fine or gray color Scotch-Brite pad to scuff any items you need to paint. The pad can be purchased from your local hardware store. The idea is to simply break the shiny surface to create a "tooth" for the new paint to adhere to. Use a fine abrasive to prevent making deep scratches, which can be visible through the final coat of paint.

Make sure you wash each trim item with a solvent to remove any grease or road oils, then thoroughly wash each item in hot, soapy water to remove all traces of contamination. Scuffing alone will not remove oils, because they are deeply embedded into the surface and will promote paint peeling if not completely removed.

WobblyI am the proud owner of a '67 Mustang convertible with a 289 engine, an auto transmission, and power steering. I've had the car for two years. It experiences a left-to-right steering wheel vibration when driven between 25 and 30 mph and about 50 mph. The car has the factory steel wheels and wire wheel hubcaps.