Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
September 1, 2004
Remember this pretty little thing from the May issue of Mustang Monthly? Its days of hanging around the shop on an engine stand are over as we slide our warmed-up 289 between the fenders of our hardtop.

Our destination on the long, hard road to completion is upon us. We've come so far since 1999 when we started with a $300 rusty shell to the nearly completed car on these pages. If it weren't for the continued support of our advertisers and readers, our '66 could have become just another unfinished magazine project car. But we prevailed and the little hardtop is done. Some of you saw the almost finished Project '66 at the Silver Springs Mustang Roundup in January. Others saw the completed car at the Mustang 40th Anniversary Celebration in Nashville. And, of course, the finished car was featured in "How I Restored My Mustang" in the June issue. For this article, we're backtracking a bit to show the process of installing the Mustang's drivetrain.

With our 289 dyno-tested and detailed, and our Dynamic Racing C4 sitting patiently in the shop along with our Motive Industries dealer-installed-style dual exhaust system, we only needed to pick up the phone to acquire a few more items to propel our hardtop under its own power. We had ordered much of what we needed for installation, such as motor mounts, starter, and so on from National Parts Depot last year, but we still needed a driveshaft, fluids, and a few other items. We obtained our engine, transmission, and power-steering fluids locally, but when it came to the driveshaft we called Mustangs Plus. We've used its aluminum driveshafts in several projects for their brute strength and perfect balance, so we wanted to use one here as well.

After getting the drivetrain bolted in and everything topped off or bled properly, the '66 made its maiden voyage to the alignment shop (see sidebar), then back to Mustang Monthly's shop for further tweaking. All that's left is to install some of our exterior trim (rocker moldings, pin lettering, and so on), refinish the console, and install the rest of the Classic Auto Air concours A/C system. Keep your eyes peeled for these last few stories.

Once on the alignment rack at Levy's, the technician first checks all of our suspension mounting and pivot points and tightens them accordingly (we left everything "snug" until the drivetrain weight was on the front suspension). With everything tightened, the tech could accurately check ride height and make the proper suspension adjustments.

Line It Up!
Anytime a front suspension component is replaced, it's wise to have the alignment checked and reset. Since our hardtop was sporting new components up front (control arms, springs, shocks, bushings, steering), our maiden voyage was straight to the alignment shop. We use Levy's Imperial Tire (863/688-7131) here in Lakeland, Florida, for many of our projects and have always been happy with their work.

Choosing A Torque Converter

Here's a quick tour through a typical TCT converter. Beginning from left to right, there's the converter cover with the stator and sprag inside it, the turbine and turbine hub, and the front cover (lying face down). Above the converter assembly are the various bearing assemblies used in the converter. TCT uses sealed roller bearings, not sandwich-style, for its converter assemblies since they are more durable and can handle twice the load capacity.
The TCT 10-inch street and strip converter for our C4 comes ready to install with new mounting hardware. While most of the trick features are hidden inside the welded case, the anti-ballooning plate is welded around the hub of the converter cover on the exterior. This thick plate prevents the converter from "ballooning" by adding strength to the stamped cover.

We'll be honest: We're far from experts on torque converters. Sure, we know their basic operation principles (fluid in an impeller is spun and transferred to the turbine, multiplying torque in the process), but like most of you we had no idea what torque converter to run in our Dynamic Racing Transmission C4. We left it in the capable hands of the people who make them every day. With some basic knowledge of your engine specs, driving style, and so on, the crew at TCT can put together the right converter for your automatic Mustang. We ended up with TCT's 10-inch "street and strip" converter with a 3,000-rpm stall speed. Whether it's for simple cruising or something snappier, TCT can build just what you need. The photos show the inner workings of our 10-inch converter.