With the price of gasoline creeping higher and higher at every commodity trader's whim, some owners may find it increasingly difficult to fill up their classic car, or take it on that weekend getaway simply because of the poor fuel economy. Shane Struthers of Tarpon Springs, Florida, experienced this firsthand when the majority of his vacation money went toward filling up the tank in his '73 Mach 1 Mustang.
It turns out that the thirsty 302/C4 drivetrain combination isn't the most frugal of gas sippers when it's buzzing at 3,000 rpm while going down the highway at 70 mph. Do this for, oh say 1,000-plus miles like Shane did while on the Hot Rod Power Tour and you can imagine the sucking sound the debit card makes at the pump as it drains your bank account.
To remedy this situation, Struthers contacted the folks at Monster Transmission in Brooksville, Florida, to see what they could do to ease the excessive highway rpm. The solution came in the form of one of the company's AOD swap kits.
The Monster AOD is fortified with Alto clutch packs and friction plates, as well as Kolene steel plates to provide a gearbox capable of 450 hp. We documented the buildup of a similar AOD in our Feb. '11 issue, which you can obtain through our back issue department or check it out on our website. In this article, we've documented the installation of the AOD in Struther's fastback. The result, as predicted, knocked the cruise rpm down considerably, so the next time Struthers wants to make the long haul, he'll have a little more green leftover for the fun stuff.