March 1, 2005

Big And TallI have an '89 Mustang LX hatchback with a 2.3L four-cylinder and I'm wondering if there is a way to make the driver-seat move back farther (much farther). I'd like to move it so the seatback touches the bottom cushion of the rear seat since I'm almost 7 feet tall and could use the legroom. Also, what's the horsepower rating for the 2.3L engine?Jason GroverVia the Internet

I did a story on this subject, and the solution was a pair of metal track extenders that remounted the seat farther back. But they were for SN-95 ('94-and-newer) Mustangs and, unfortunately, the company is no longer in business. You might be able to make a pair of your own, or possibly drill holes in the floor to remount the seat farther back and support the seat with blocks of wood. You'd have to use longer studs to run through the wood. Perhaps a local upholstery shop could help, especially one that does custom work.

After looking around on the Internet, I found a few figures for horsepower on your car. There isn't much info for four-cylinder Foxes, unless it's an SVO. Apparently, '90 and earlier cars were rated at 88 hp. I also read, "In 1991, the Ford Mustang four-cylinder engine gained two spark plugs per cylinder and 15 horsepower and was now rated at 105." That would mean your car makes 90 hp; so 88 or 90, pretty close either way. If anyone has more concrete info on four-cylinder Fox-body cars, please write.

T5 to AODI acquired an '83 Mustang GT last year as a project car. It has a five-speed now, but I want to convert it to an automatic. Which automatic trans and associated parts will I need if I decide to restomod this car? It will just be a street car, so nothing super-radical is necessary.Dan KostushVia the Internet

On street cars, people usually switch from an automatic to a manual. But on drag cars, it isn't uncommon to switch from a stick to a slush box. Either way, this is a popular swap.

Your obvious choice for the transmission would be an AOD. This four-speed automatic overdrive gearbox and its updated derivatives (AOD-E, 4R70W, and so on) have been standard in all Mustangs for at least the past 20 years. You could also go with a C4 (a popular choice for the more serious street/strip crowd), but you wouldn't have the overdrive Fourth gear that makes highway cruising more pleasant.

Besides the trans, you'll need an auto-trans crossmember, a flexplate, a throttle-valve (TV) cable, a torque converter, and a shifter, among other things. Make it easy and try to gather all the parts from one place. Locate a donor car with everything in place or procure the parts from a salvage yard in a complete package. Our trusty standby for the latter is Mustang Parts Specialties in Georgia; it has complete five-speed-to-automatic conversions available. Call 770/867-2644 or visit www.stangparts.com. Another good source for AOD-related bits is Windsor Fox Performance Engineering: 760/946-3835 or www.windsorfox.com.

Will Going Big Cause Trouble?I have an '01 Mustang GT convertible with an automatic, ABS, and optional traction control, and I'd like to fill up the wheelwells with some larger rolling stock. Would the ABS and traction control be affected with a larger-diameter tire? I'm going to have the same size wheel and tire on all four corners.Steve SiekerNorth Bend, WA

I've never heard of anyone having a problem by changing wheel and tire sizes on SN-95 Mustangs equipped like yours. I switched to 18-inch wheels and tires on my '01 Mustang GT and haven't had any problems, so I think you'll likely be Ok.