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Old 05-13-2003, 11:51 AM
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Post brainstorming next car, small 5-Speed V8

Hi, if anyone cares to suggest alternate cars or engines, please join me for my brainstorming session here.

My long range plans are centered on building an affordable 5-speed V8 of some stripe or another in the next several years. The question is, which one?
In months of research, I haven't seen any 5-speed manual that is easier to find parts for than an 80's Mustang.

They are also relatively small and light. This is what I'm looking for. 5-speed V8 manual trans car, nothing rare, nothing big.

The real question, the one that is occupying my mind in all these moments of goofing off at work, is whether to stay with a 302, or to sacrifice handling and stuff a 460 in.

Thanks to everyone who helped me find the 460 swap info. Now I just have to decide if it's going to be more fun to have a 720 pound engine or a 460 pounder. I've heard that 460 stangs are a bear in the rain, and this is going to be a daily driver, after all.

What kind of monster rear end gears (above 4:1, I'd think?) do you have to run to be able to go through your first four transmission gears under 100 mph with a 460 in a Fox-body mustang? Not much point in having a 5-speed if you're getting pulled over for breaking the sound barrier as you ease into third gear.

If anyone wants to brainstorm with me, please do. I know a couple people who are very happy with their 302s. Maybe when I have a 5-speed again (been without one for years now) I will be satisfied with 300 hp, but torque has its allure.

These days I'm happily driving around in my 12 bolt posi 327 65 Impala with 4:11 gears and a 700R4.
But I miss the manual transmission and I miss the feel of being in a small car, and my old Chevy will get less everyday wear and tear when I finally build that 5-speed.

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Old 05-13-2003, 05:54 PM
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my first thoughts when i saw your post was to go for a 302. but instead of getting a mustang, why not find a nice 60's falcon or fairlane and put in a new drivetrain with updated suspension. would be a lot of work but you'd have one nice car when you were done.

JB
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Old 05-14-2003, 10:21 AM
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or even just be a bit more out of the ordinary with a fox chassis t-bird or cougar. most all mustang parts for the same years bolt up, aside from sheetmetal, and it'd prevent ya from putting yet another mustang on the road
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Old 05-17-2003, 07:41 PM
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hmm, that's an interesting idea. I'm going to have to look into how much those weigh. I think a T-bird is signifiucantly heavier, and friends who had them in the 80's say they did not handle well. But Maybe the Cougar is light and nimble.

I really wouldn't care if my car didn't stand out, though. When I drive my '65 Caprice around I get plenty of attention. Actually I think it might be nice to not get noticed sometimes, and the anonymity of the 80's stang attracts me. But I'm still not stuck on the mustang idea. Still brainstorming at this point.

I definitely don't have the money to start this project for at least another year.

This next car just has to be fun to drive, small, and plenty fast : )
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Old 05-17-2003, 11:23 PM
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I have an 88 T-bird Sport with LOW-output 302. It has a similar suspension setup to the Turbo Coupes & Mustang GT's. It handles exceptionally well, although it's dog-***** slow (17.20's w/3.45's & gutted catalyst). With my 250# butt in it & a bunch of tools & stuff in the trunk, it weighed only 3995 on the track scale. Cougar should be close. There is a good site dedicated to these cars. I just found it myself.
<a href="http://www.coolcats.net" target="_blank">www.coolcats.net</a>

[ May 18, 2003: Message edited by: jimfulco ]</p>
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Old 05-18-2003, 07:04 AM
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Mini Cooper (new or old) with a BMW V-8 6spd from the new Z-3 or Z-4. That will get the hairs on any part of your body sit up and put a seatbelt on!

I know its not what you were thinking, but I had to say it Nice to see ou back and chattin'. Hows goes it?

HK
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Old 05-18-2003, 10:48 AM
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What about a baby aluminium nailhead with a T5 in an Alfa/Fiat/Triumph/MG/Healy?

I sketched up a nice little concept of a TR6 with an Alu. SBC/5spd a while back. Big wheels...dechromed. '04 feel/look in an older design. Thing about the new T-bird or Mini's...that look and feel.

Sounds like fun.
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Old 05-18-2003, 11:08 AM
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'79 Fairmont Futura in the weeds painted Grabber Blue with Matte Black accents ala 1970 Cougar Eliminator. 5.0, 5 speed, rear end and suspension out of a Mustang GT. Just my $.02
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Old 05-18-2003, 11:42 AM
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My buddy did a Ford Futura last year. Bought it and a 90's Mustang from the junk yard and put the 302 5 speed in the Futura. For some reason I remember him saying the Futura's are near 800lbs lighter than a 5.0 Mustang. He could have been full of it though.


bonuts
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Old 05-19-2003, 01:06 PM
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thanks everyone! Lot's of cool ideas! Halloween King, that idea of yours is... is about thirty thousand bucks too rich for my wallet, but it's great to hear from you! I'm doing fine. Situated in my old neighborhood in Michigan again. The chevy's running well.

part of the charm of the mustang idea for me is their availablilty. I'm thinking it might be quick and easy to just get one and not horse around overmuch customizing it. The area I live in is fairly car-theft-intensive so I would just as soon not have a one-of-a-kind show piece. Only reason my '65 chevy hasn't been stolen yet is probably that most car thieves are so young that they think such a car is a museum piece not worth their skills : )

This ford fairlane/ Futura idea is intriguing, however. I think I'm going to do some research. I wonder if they handle okay... Hippie did recomend scrapping the stock suspension and using the stang package, so I'm guessing they don't.
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Old 05-19-2003, 04:32 PM
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The Futura is basically a long wheelbased, boxy Mustang. The suspension is the same as the Stang so you might as well put the GT underpinnings to good use. I'm not sure but I think the instrument panel may interchange between like years as well. Bein' a Chevy guy and all I try not to know "too" much about Blue Oval stuff. I had considered a similar build myself at one time but I'll deny that in front of my friends.......... as a matter of fact I had my eye on a Fairmont wagon, I though it might make a neat work car/sleeper. In fact the car is still there, hmmmmmm.

[ May 19, 2003: Message edited by: Hippie ]</p>
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:09 PM
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Hippie, I note that you have an Impala insignia. what year Impala do you have? My '65 Caprice is basically a '64 Impala with a living room couch for a front seat and a bit more chrome.

And boy does that 327 sound good!

Back to the topic at hand, does anyone know of a 5-speed V8 that beats the 80's mustang for affordabilty and available performance mods?

or does the fox body stang really top the charts for easiest muscle car to build?

so far, aside from Sir Speedy's cool but rather labor intensive "super fiat/austin healy" idea and HK's humorously expensive BMW engine idea, we've basically been talking about variations of mustangs...

does no other car compete with the boxy little 80's mustang???
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:55 PM
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I don't think anything can compare to a cookie-cutter car except another cookie-cutter car. With few exceptions, the automobile manufacturers left my poor brain in the dust in the late 60s-early 70s. After that, no style, no nothing, just look-alike everything. When you can't tell a Chevy from Ford from a Toyota it is so sad.
I try to live in the days when cars were identifiable and fun. Perhaps primitive and perhaps the unlitimate in UN-TECH, but by God FUNNNNNN.
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:59 PM
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NOW that idea about a Falcon, say a 65 Futura Hardtop with the modern 302, 5-speed, 4 wheel discs....UH OH,,,,I'm getting weak!
OR, say a 63 Fairlane 500 2dr Hardtop with same drivetrain.......be still my heart!
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Old 05-20-2003, 03:15 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by WayOutCat:
<strong>Hippie, I note that you have an Impala insignia. what year Impala do you have? </strong><hr></blockquote>


'62 SS Hdtp with a 283/Glide. I've owned her 10 years and I'm getting ready for a frame up and then a 496 BBC; 700R4 and 4.33 12 Bolt swap.

To answer the question in another post about why so many of the ideas were based on the Mustang drivetrain it is because it is the most widely available small V-8 with 5 speed, it is a proven package and it is almost as popular as a small block Chevy. Had the preference been for a small V-8 and OD auto then it probably would have been Chevy. Most likely a 350 and a 200-4R. There just aren't many good GM 5 speeds that will hold up to a healthy small block laying around in people's yards but I see a fair number of wrecked Stangs with the 5.0 and 5 speed for sale cheap. They may have been through the wringer but the price is usually cheap enough you can afford to freshen them up a little. Simple economics.

[ May 20, 2003: Message edited by: Hippie ]</p>
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