Mustang Restomod Guide: Drivetrain
Modernize Your Drivetrain With Crate Engines, Strokers, And Overdrive Transmissions
For good looks and the extra benefit of reducing power-robbing drag from engine accessories, Redd Manufacturing offers the Concept One pulley system for Fords, including Windsor small-blocks, FEs, and 429s. CNC-milled from 6061 billet aluminum and available in machined or polished finishes, the pulley systems are supplied with the necessary components, including Goodyear Gatorback belts and chrome-plated fasteners. All the Concept One kits feature overdrive technology for increased water pump flow and electrical charging at idle and slow speeds.
Modular To The Max
While most Mustang restomodders choose stroker small-blocks for power, there are some who take restomodding to the max by taking full advantage of today's modern drivetrain technology. David Stribling from DVS Restorations built his "Mustang in Black" '68 Mustang fastback with a complete drivetrain from a '99 Mustang Cobra-a Four-Valve 4.6L engine, a T45 five-speed, and an 8.8-inch rearend in the Cobra's IRS rear suspension. Of course, much fabrication was needed. In the end, David's Mustang project proves that if you want modern technology bad enough, you can adapt it to a vintage Mustang.
Any vintage Mustang is an ideal candidate for a five-speed swap. Many opt for the T5 five-speed, although newer and improved versions such as the Tremec TKO are also a popular choice. As with the AOD automatic, you get the benefits of an overdriven Fifth gear for improved fuel mileage, quieter cruising, and quicker acceleration, especially when used in conjunction with a lower rearend ratio.
In addition to the five-speed transmission, you'll need a number of other components for the conversion in an original four-speed car, including an adaptor plate for the bellhousing, crossmember, shifter, transmission mount, and yoke. Companies like Ron Morris Performance and California Pony Cars offer the various components, while Keisler Engineering has put together a one-stop shopping option with its Perfect Fit packages, which include everything from the transmission and crossmember to installation of the hardware.
If you're swapping from an automatic to a five-speed, you'll need a few additional parts, including the bellhousing, clutch, clutch-cable kit, and a manual-transmission pedal setup that includes the clutch pedal.
Pump It Up
A great addition to any Ford small-block or 429 engine is Edelbrock's aluminum water pump. Offering better flow, optimum pressure, and equal distribution to both sides of the block, the company's all-new water pump assures proper cooling when used in conjunction with a performance radiator and fan.
DVS Restorations has developed a universal crossmember designed to adapt most popular Ford transmissions, including five-speeds and AODs, to the vintage Mustang's original rubber insulator. Adjustable a full 6 inches in all directions for unique engine/transmission/ front-suspension combinations, the DVS crossmember also adjusts to variances and twisting in the original chassis. The special Nordlock locking system ensures the crossmember configuration holds tight. It can also be welded if desired.