April 1, 2004

Gear WhinerI have an '85 GT with 80,000 miles. The car had 66,000 miles on it when I purchased it four years ago. The rearend has various "singing" noises from 30 to 55 mph, while accelerating, and sometimes while decelerating at different speeds. I recently had new ring-and-pinion gears and new bearings installed, thinking it would cure the problem, but to no avail. I cannot hold the mechanic responsible since I specified the parts to be replaced. The car has an AOD with 3.27 gears. I know it's not the strongest rearend, which I understand came only in the '84 and '85 models. Where do I go from here? Maybe I should have considered an 8.8-inch replacement from an '86 or newer car. Since I really don't like the noisy rearend the way it is now, I want to do something about it. In the past I've been able to correct this problem by replacing the ring-and-pinion gearset. Your input will help me make a decision.Gaines AdcockSan Jose, CA

All pre-'86 V-8 Mustangs came with the 7.5-inch axle; the switch to EFI and the addition of the 8.8 happened in the same '86 model year. Switching to an 8.8 is definitely a good idea. Not only is aftermarket support more extensive than with a 7.5, it's also a considerably stronger piece.

I had essentially the same experience as you when switching gear ratios in the '90 5.0 I had several years ago. I went from the stock 3.08 to a 3.73 ratio, and those Ford Racing gears were perfectly quiet in the car's 8.8. I then went to a set of 3.55s and they were noisy. The axle shop recommended Ford Racing (then SVO) gears because they are as quiet as can be, so I switched to a set of its 3.55s, which were as quiet as the 3.73s. A set of Ford Racing gears, which are made in Ford's Sterling Axle Plant, will likely provide the quiet you're seeking.

Right now, though, you might want to use that money for an 8.8. You didn't say if you were changing ratios, but if that isn't high on your priority list, a good, used 8.8 would also likely be pretty quiet right from the get-go. You could then swap in 3.55s or 3.73s when your budget allows.

Paint Codes And Job OneI have a few questions about my '85 Mustang GT. It's time for a new paint job and I'm not sure about the paint around the windows. My Sand Beige (paint code 8L) car has gray paint around the door frames and quarter-windows. Is this really faded black or a shade of gray? What is the code for this paint? Also, I have seen references to "Job One" in many books and articles. Please forgive my ignorance, but what does Job One mean?Chris GramzaVia the Internet

We've featured a number of low-mileage, square-light Fox 5.0s lately and, judging from the photos, it looks as if the part of the car in question is black. A good body shop should be able to match that quite easily for a semigloss (or semiflat?) look-you don't want totally flat, nor do you want super glossy. Latemodel Restoration Supply might be able to help you with the exact code for the paint. Call 866/507-3786 or visit www.50resto.com.

"Job One" usually refers to the first production car off the line of a given make or model, either of the whole model line or a special model within the line. For example, Job One for all '04 Mustangs and the '04 Mach 1 will be two different cars. While the first Mach 1 wasn't likely Job One for the entire production run of '04 Mustangs, it will be so for the run of '04 Mach 1s-very special cars indeed.

Shifter For An SROD?I'm a fast-learning, 16-year-old novice enthusiast with an '82 Mustang GT I've owned for about a year. The engine has been freshly rebuilt with a bigger cam, headers, and plenty of other goodies. I'm looking for an aftermarket shifter for the car's SROD (single-rail overdrive) four-speed transmission. All I can find are shifters designed for the T5 or Tremec five-speeds. Do you know of anyone who makes such an animal?Brandon EllisVia the Internet

This is a tough one. I'd say your chances of finding an aftermarket shifter for your car's SROD four-speed are slim. I've never heard of anyone offering such an item. Anyone out there know?

What about swapping in a T5? That would be ideal for your car and it's a virtual bolt-in. Used T5s can be purchased for a reasonable price these days, and you could probably do the entire swap for around $1,000, depending on where you source the transmission. For a complete guide on five-speeds for late-model 5.0s and 4.6s, check out our August '02 issue.

Send your late-model questions or comments to: Late-Model Corral, c/o Mustang Monthly, P.O. Box 7157, Lakeland, FL 33807-7157. Please include your VIN and/or data plate information, daytime phone number, and e-mail address. You may also reach us via e-mail at: latemod.corral@primedia.com.