Donald Farr
Former Editor, Mustang Monthly
October 1, 2004
Photos By: Mustang Monthly Archives


Rack-and pinion steering is now available for early Mustangs as a true bolt-in, with no cutting, welding, or drilling required. Designed to work with the original '65-'69 spindles or with '70 Mustang or Granada disc brake upgrades, Flaming River's new rack-and-pinion setup includes a quick 16:1 ratio, making it feel more like power steering without the hassle of plumbing a complete power-steering system. Look for more on the rack-and-pinion installation elsewhere in this issue. Contact: Flaming River Industries, Dept. MM, 800 Poertner Dr., Berea, OH 44017; 800/648-8022;

Performance Intake

For this time-honored modification, there are hundreds of choices, from cast-iron four-barrel upgrades to vintage aluminum Shelby/Cobra units, to the many current offerings from companies such as Edelbrock, Weiand, Holley, and Offenhauser. On top of that, you've got multiple carburetion and Webers. For an everyday street engine, look for a dual-plane four-barrel manifold, which provides better torque for everyday driving. Single-planes produce more horsepower, but at higher rpm, which is more suitable for racing.


If you're searching for impressive underhood looks and more power, check out the tri-power setup from Pony Carburetors. Unlike the original Ford tri-power, which used a trio of Holley two-barrel carbs, the Pony Carburetors version for the small-block Ford engine utilizes three Autolite 2100 two-barrels and Pony Carburetor's own aluminum intake. Around town, the engine purrs on the center carb. But when you need more juice, the outbound carbs pop open another four barrels of fun. Contact: Pony Carburetors, Dept. MM, 112 Westgate St., Las Cruces, NM 88005; 505/526-4949;

Clutch Fan

As we pointed out in last month's issue, upgrading to a clutch fan, available from most Mustang parts vendors, will certainly enhance your Mustang's cooling system and save power at the same time. Sold as two separate pieces-clutch and fan-that must be bolted together, the clutch locks in at low speeds to draw air through the radiator but freewheels at higher rpm to conserve power. In most cases, it's a direct bolt-on replacement for the four-blade fan that came on most early Mustangs.

Holley Hop-Up

It would be impossible to put together a performance bolt-on article and not mention Holley carburetors. Since 1957, when Holley introduced the 4150 four-barrel on the '57 Thunderbird, it has been producing carburetors for both aftermarket and OEM. Today, Holley carbs are a favorite for Mustang performance. They're easy to install and tune, plus they're available in a variety of sizes, secondary configurations, and models. Contact: Holley Performance Products, Dept. MM, 1801 Russellville Rd., Bowling Green KY 42101; 270/781-9741;

GT Fog Lights

Nearly every Mustang parts vendor offers the reproduction bars, brackets, wiring harnesses, switches, and bulbs to install GT fog lights in '65-'68 Mustang grilles. They make a sporty addition to the early Mustangs, and provide more visibility for both the driver and other traffic. Check with your favorite parts vendor for more details.

Aluminum Driveshaft

When it comes to performance, less weight is a good thing. With an aluminum driveshaft from Mustangs Plus, you can send more horsepower to your rear wheels because the lighter shaft requires less engine power to turn. Contact: Mustangs Plus, Dept. MM, 2353 N. Wilson Way, Stockton, CA 95205; 800/999-4289;

Traction Masters

The early Mustang's leaf-spring rear suspension has never won any awards as a top-performer for hard launching. One reason is, the springs have a tendency to wind up or twist under hard acceleration, which results in wheelhop. Carroll Shelby recognized the problem early and added Traction Master under-ride traction bars to his GT350s. Those same traction bars are available today to solidly locate the axle to prevent rear-axle windup. The Traction Master bars install using the rear-axle U-bolts, and their front mounting plates must be welded to the framerails. Contact: Traction Master, Dept. MM, 2917 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90006; 213/382-1131;

Performance Shocks

For optimum handling, you'll need a set of performance shocks, like the Gas-o-matics from KYB. They provide just the right amount of stiffness for a vintage street Mustang, allowing for a feeling of confident control without excessive harshness. The KYBs, offered by most Mustang vendors, offer multistage valve compression to enable the shocks to adjust to driving conditions automatically. Check with your favorite vendor for more details.