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

Upgraded Alternator

When it's time to replace your alternator, don't run down to your local auto parts store to get a rebuilt unit. You can order an exact replacement alternator, right down to the markings on the housing, from AMK Products (Dept. MM, 800 Airport Rd., Winchester, VA 22602; 540/662-7820; On the outside, AMK's alternators are exact in detail, but they're completely remanufactured inside with new components. If you're running a lot of power-consuming accessories, such as a high-powered stereo, check out the more powerful alternators from Powermaster (Dept. MM, 7501 Strawberry Plains Pike, Knoxville, TN 37924; 865/688-5953; They offer higher amperage, from 90 to 120.

Roller Rockers

Crane Cams' aluminum roller rocker arms not only reduce friction with needle-bearing fulcrums and roller tips, they can also add more lift to your camshaft if you bolt-on 1.7 versions instead of the factory 1.6 ratio. Contact: Crane Cams, Dept. MM, 530 Fentress Blvd., Daytona Beach, FL 32114; 386/252-1151;

Cobra Dress-Up

For attractive underhood looks, bolt on a pair of aluminum Cobra valve covers, available from all major Mustang parts vendors. They're available for small-blocks and big-blocks in a variety of styles, including natural aluminum and black crinkle.

High-Back Seats

You don't typically think about seats as bolt-ons, but since they install in vintage Mustangs with just four bolts per seat, we suppose they really do fit the bolt-on theme. M-Detail now offers a Pony Interior-style high-back that incorporates all the comforts of a modern bucket seat, such as adjustable headrests, seatback, and knee bolsters. Better support for long rides is another plus. You can even get leather. Contact M-Detail at 909/686-3929.

Floor Console

Mustang interiors look their best with a floor console mounted between the bucket seats. An option in the '60s, many Mustangs didn't come with the console, so it's a great addition. You may be able to find an original console for your '65-'73 Mustang at a swap meet and refurbish it with many of the reproduction parts available today. For '65-'66 owners, you can practically build a brand-new console from reproduction parts, starting with the repro console housing offered by major Mustang vendors.

Shelby Pod

Shelby had some great ideas for his Shelby Mustangs, and you can still take advantage of them. One is the gauge pod that positioned a tachometer and an oil-pressure gauge on the center of the instrument panel in '65 GT350s. A reproduction of the gauge pod is still available today from Mustang mail-order companies, providing a great spot for adding an aftermarket tachometer and a smaller gauge.

Six-Cylinder Two-Barrel

With Jack Clifford Performance's carburetor adaptor, owners of 170ci, 200ci, and 250ci Mustang six-cylinder engines can upgrade from one-barrel to two-barrel carburetion, using either an Autolite or Holley carburetor. It's an easy way to add more horsepower to an inline six. Contact: Jack Clifford Performance, Dept. MM, 32840-B Wolf Store Rd., Temecula, CA 92592; 909/303-2333;

Tubular Headers

Headers rank as one of the best all-time bolt-on modifications for '65-'73 Mustangs. There are tons of choices out there, from Shelby-style tri-Ys to equal-length headers from companies such as Hooker, Hedman, and JBA. Most small-block headers practically fall into place, while big-blocks require more patience due to the tight fit. In all cases, you'll need to have a muffler shop fabricate H-pipes to the mufflers.