Vintage Tech Advice May 2013
Bench Seat Adjustment
I have a '66 Mustang hardtop and I am replacing the bucket seats with a bench seat. I have recovered the seat and I'm ready to install it. My question is this: How is the seat adjustment rod (wire) routed from one side of the bench seat to the other while negotiating the hump in the floor? The hump is taller than the level of the adjustment mechanism and I can see no way to route it without binding against the hump, carpet, etc.
Water Valley, MS
The adjustment wire runs between the two seat tracks and is held close to the seat springs in the center using circular hog rings that also attach the upholstery to the seat frame. The wire includes an adjustment section so it can be adjusted to release both seat tracks together once the wire is hog ringed into place.
I have a street-driven '66 C-code Mustang hardtop. I like my cars tight and have never been happy with the body flex. I'd like to know if subframe connectors (or related products such as the Extreme Matrix kit) are worthwhile additions to a street car. Or do they only produce substantial gains for track vehicles?
Additional subframe connectors will no doubt eliminate body flex in a vehicle with uni-body construction, such as an early Mustang. Ford utilized torque box assemblies behind the front wheel area to connect the frame and cowl, starting with convertibles and adding them to all Mustangs by '68 in order to eliminate body flex. Torque boxes should be installed along with subframe connectors to eliminate the flex. An export brace and Monte Carlo bar in the engine compartment will also help.
The flex in street-driven Mustangs seems to be acceptable to most owners. Typically, only convertible owners complain about excessive body flex. A car driven aggressively or on the track will definitely benefit from a stiffer chassis, as it will complement other performance enhancements like heavy-duty shocks, stiffer springs, and performance tires. If you feel your driving style creates excessive body flex, then the addition of frame stiffeners will definitely make an improvement.
302 vs. 351 Brackets
I am trying to find out if the power steering and air-conditioning brackets from a '69 Mustang's 302 will work on my '69 Mach 1 with a 351 Windsor.
Via the Internet
The brackets are basically the same; the differences are made up mostly with mounting hardware and spacers.
The 351 Windsor block has a taller deck height than the 302, therefore it is slightly taller and wider. Ford used cast spacers bolted to the cylinder heads to provide a mounting surface with the correct bolt pattern, allowing the brackets to line up. If the correct spacers and mounting hardware are used, the 302 brackets should be usable on your 351.
As a note, one of the steel A/C brackets is somewhat different. However, it can be modified to fit the 351W.
Overdrive Final Drive
I'm installing a T-5 five-speed manual transmission in a '67 Mustang with a V-8. What is a good starting point for rear axle gears? The housing is a stock 8-inch unit with 2.79:1 gears and I'm not sure if that's good for a five-speed with overdrive. The car is used every day, no racing.
Via the Internet
I would suggest driving the car with the five-speed and stock 2.79:1 ratio before making a rear gear change. The T-5 will provide improved acceleration with its lower First gear ratio as well as better highway performance and fuel mileage with the overdrive Fifth gear. This should work quite well for everyday use without changing the rear gear. If more performance is desired, I would suggest a ratio between 3.00:1 to 3.25:1. Any more than that will make highway driving similar to the stock '67, thus eliminating the advantage of overdrive.
Ford used cast spacers bolted to the cylinder heads to provide a mounting surface with the correct bolt pattern, allowing the brackets to line up. If the correct spacers and mounting hardware are used, the 302 brackets should be usable on your 351.
Let us hear from you. Send your '65-'73 Mustang questions to: Beyond Basics, c/o Bob Aliberto, P.O. Box 205, Salt Point, NY 12578. Send email to email@example.com.