September 1, 2005

Bumping The GuardsCan you tell me if front bumper guards (and rear, for that matter) were an option, or were they installed on every '65-'68 Mustang at the factory? I'd like to remove the front guards on my '65 and '67 Mustangs, but would not do so if it means I'll get downgraded for removing original parts. I have seen many pictures of various Mustangs that don't have them on and I prefer this look myself.Bryan LakinSpringfield, MO

Bumper guards were indeed standard factory items and must be on the vehicle for concours show points. The only exception was deletion of the rear guards on the '65-'66 GT Mustangs, as they have exhaust trumpets exiting the rear valance instead of bumper guards. Mustang bumper guards simply bolt on and can be installed or removed easily. Many owners prefer the cleaner look without the guards and remove them.

Which Speedo Gear?I'm restoring a '68 GT 500KR. When I bought the car many years ago, it had a 427 side-oiler and a Top Loader four-speed. I have since obtained the correct 428 Cobra Jet engine and C6 automatic transmission. I need the Ford part number for the correct speedometer gear. If it's not available, can you provide me with the color and number of teeth for the gear so I can search for one? The car has 3:50 gears and E70x15 tires.Jim CappelliAmhurst, MA

According to the Ford Parts catalog, your speedometer gear should be a 20-tooth gear, PN C1DD-17271-A. The gear should still be available through your local Ford dealer. CJ Pony Parts lists a reproduction as well. Call them at 800/888-6473 and order PN 1278.

Single to DualsI own a '70 Mach 1 with a 351-2V Cleveland, FMX transmission, power steering, and manual drum brakes. The car has the original exhaust manifolds and single exhaust system, but I want to install a factory-sounding dual exhaust with OEM-type turn-down tips so I won't have to change the rear valance panel. Is there a complete bolt-on system I could install that would require minimum modifications while still keeping the original manifolds?Mark SwannVia the Internet

You're in luck. K.A.R. Auto Group lists the system you're looking for. They can supply one for either style rear valance (with or without cutouts) and they even differentiate between vehicles with or without staggered shocks. The front H-pipe is available separately. Contact K.A.R. at 800/341-5949 or at their Web site,

'69 T-5 SwapI own a '69 convertible with the 200 six and three-speed manual transmission. The 200 six is a great little engine and is running fine. I have no problem cruising at 65-70 mph. However, the problem is getting from 70 to 80 when passing. I'm thinking about swapping to a T5 five-speed transmission, which should drop the rpm from 3,000 to 2,000 at 70 mph and also improve my gas mileage. All of the transmission swap articles I've seen have used '65-'68 models and the swap requires a conversion kit for the bellhousing. I've read that the bellhousing for the '69 200 six is the same as the bellhousing for the V-8, thereby not requiring a conversion kit. Can you confirm this? Also, from which late-model vehicles, other than a Mustang, can I salvage a "not-so-old" T5?David FloresRoyse City, TX

A T5 swap in your convertible will indeed make for a better-cruising vehicle. The needed parts and installation are basically the same as the '65-'68. A conversion kit for the bellhousing is needed to allow the T5 to be bolted to the stock V-8 or, in your case, stock six-cylinder bellhousing. This allows the continued use of the stock clutch linkage. The other popular method is to utilize a 5.0L V-8 bellhousing that already accepts the T5 transmission, obviously without the need for the conversion plate. Use of this bellhousing requires the conversion to either a cable or hydraulic clutch linkage and, unfortunately for your six-cylinder application, will fit only small-block V-8s. The straight-six has a different bellhousing bolt pattern than the V-8, thus the 5.0 bellhousing cannot be used on the six-cylinder engine. Any T5 transmission from a Fox-bodied Ford with a V-8 engine will work for your situation. Four-cylinder T5 transmissions have a smaller-diameter input shaft than the V-8 unit and cannot be used

An early car pilot bushing can be used to help determine four-cylinder or V-8 transmissions. The '94-'95 5.0 Mustangs also used a T5 transmission, but their longer input shaft will not interchange with the '83-'93 Fox-body units.

OK With Spacers?I'm new to classic Mustangs and have a question I haven't seen answered in your magazine. Is it safe to run wheel spacers? I would love to install newer wheels, but backspacing is the issue. I've spent so much money on my car I'd hate to ruin it using spacers if they aren't recommended. If spacers are OK, which one should I use and which ones should I stay away from?David MackVia the Internet

Wheel spacers are OK if they fit the rotor or brake drum evenly and are not too thick. Quality spacers are smooth and flat with only one set of bolt holes to match your Mustang's bolt pattern. Multi-fit spacers usually have many holes to accommodate different bolt patterns and tend to fit loosely on the wheel studs. The thickness of the spacer determines the length of the wheel stud available for the lug nut to thread onto. Obviously, a stud that's too short won't allow the lug nut to safely secure the wheel. Most large tire-supply stores carry a selection of quality spacers. A thickness of a quarter of an inch or less works fine with stock-length Mustang wheel studs.

Going From 13s to 14sI own a '65 Mustang hardtop with the six-cylinder 200 and three-speed manual transmission. It has the original 13-inch wheels. I would like to upgrade to 14-inch wheels. Is it as simple as buying new wheels and tires, or is there more involved? Fred PredatorVia the Internet

This swap couldn't be easier; it's as simple as bolting on the 14-inch wheels. By 1966, all models, including the six-cylinder cars, came factory equipped with 14-inch wheels. The larger wheels tended to overload the front wheel bearings, so in 1967 Ford began using the larger V-8 bearings on six-cylinder cars. I'd install the larger wheels along with modern radial tires for a much better handling and riding vehicle. Simply check and repack the front wheel bearings frequently.

Which Rally-Pac?I want to purchase a Rally-Pac for my A-code '66 Mustang GT. Both a 6,000-rpm and a 8,000-rpm are available. Which would be correct for my Mustang?Jay HallidaCarbondale, CO

The Rally-Pac with the 8,000-rpm tach is correct for Mustangs equipped with the 271hp 289 High Performance engine. The other V-8s, like your A-code 289, used the 6,000-rpm tach. Reproduction Rally-Pacs are now available. They're quality pieces and allow us to add this desirable option to cars that didn't come with them originally.

Send your questions to: Beyond the Basics, c/o Bob Aliberto, P.O. Box 205, Salt Point, NY 12578. E-mail us at