Wayne Cook
February 2, 2010
Photos By: The Manufacturer

Budget Minded Improvements
Classic Ford Upgrades

I know we all can agree that the price of everything we deal with in our hobby has gone up a lot. When you're on a tight budget we know it can be difficult to make meaningful improvements to your classic Ford project. We wanted to know just what's out there that we can buy to upgrade our cars while operating on a limited budget. To answer this question we talked to some of the classic Mustang and Ford parts vendors out there we deal with to see what they would recommend. Some of their suggestions are perennial best sellers or important first additions, such as a tachometer or electronic ignition. Other things we came across were more of a surprise and indeed there are a whole host of interesting upgrades you can make to your classic Ford automobile while on a tight budget.

We talked things over and decided to set our budget limit at $150. While this amount won't buy you a four-barrel carburetor or a set of headers anymore, the truth is that there is a whole host of interesting improvements you can make to your classic Mustang or other special interest Ford for that $150, or less. From the interior of your car, right down to the wheels, we found a lot to like. For example, just one cool item we found for less than $150 for your classic interior was a great-looking three spoke wood rimmed steering wheel. Down on the ground, the tire pressure monitoring valve stems caught our eye. Most classic Ford enthusiasts are detail freaks and they know that sometimes the little things can make a great deal of difference in the way their car drives, looks, and performs. Indeed the array of goodies contained herein is wide and interesting. You might find one or two entries that came in just north of our price ceiling, but we felt that these things were just too cool to eliminate from our survey over $9. Take a few moments and look at this interesting collection of budget-minded upgrades perfect for your classic Ford project.

Por-15 Caliper Painting Kit
Beautiful Brakes

Restomotive Laboratories now offers this POR-15 Caliper Painting Kit. Dress up those cast iron or aluminum disc brake calipers with this handy kit that comes with everything you'll need. Included is a super-tough paint coating that will stand up to just about anything while making your calipers look terrific. Typical enamel paints can't survive the temperature extremes, road debris, and brake dust cleaning solvents that hit your calipers regularly. However POR-15 is famous for tough and beautiful colors in all of its different products so it's no surprise that this new kit hits the mark as well. The MSRP for the complete kit is $39.50.
(800) 725-0682
www.por15.com

Stainless Steel Thermostat Housing
Handsome Housing

Performance Stainless Steel is proud to offer this new Stainless Steel Thermostat Housing for small-block Ford engines. The housing is available with either a 15- or 45-degree hose port exit angle. Part number 1066 is for the 15-degree version while 1069 is for the 45-degree exit angle housing. This part is very resistant to rust, corrosion and discoloration. The beauty of stainless steel outlasts both chrome plate and aluminum. Precision machined from 304 stainless steel, the housings are available in a natural or polished finish to add a final touch of class to your small-block Ford engine. A high-quality Cometic gasket is included with each thermostat housing, as is stainless steel mounting hardware. The natural finish housing costs $144.95, while the polished version is $164.95.
(831) 335-7901
www.performancesst.com

Trunk-Mount Battery Cable Kit
It's In The Trunk

If you're interested in mounting your battery in the trunk to improve traction and balance, or to simply clean up the engine compartment's looks, then the Ron Francis Trunk Mount Battery Cable Kit is for you. The included cables are quality rated to a 255-degree performance standard and specifically designed to safely carry the start-up voltage for the required distance without allowing the voltage to drop as it travels along the length of the car. The cables have factory installed battery ends you so don't have to attach them yourself and they feature red and black protective boots. The kit includes 15-feet of black and 20-feet of red cable. Extra red cable is supplied to incorporate a remote battery disconnect switch. Specify top- or side-post battery. The cost is $157.95.
(800) 292-1940
www.ronfrancis.com

Big-Block Fe
Valve Covers Power By Ford

Tony D. Branda Performance now offers a wide selection of valve cover choices for your classic Ford engine. Now an exact reproduction of the original equipment big-block FE valve covers is available. These stamped steel covers were used on '67-'69 Mustangs and Fairlanes. They are correct in every detail and have brilliant triple chrome plating with raised "PAOWER BY FORD" lettering. They fit all FE engines. These valve covers have limited availability and a list price of $149.95 for the pair.
(814) 942-1869
www.cobranda.com