68' Project With Son

Discussion in 'Classic Mustang Specific Tech' started by djesurun1, Jul 8, 2013.


  1. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    Hey guys, I'm incredibly new to this site so please don't attack me for not researching the forums first lol. I'm in the research stage of putting a project together with my son to do over the next few years. My first car was a 68' with a straight six. It had very little get up and go but man I loved that car. I've absolutely obsessed over these mustangs ever since. I noticed that the prices of these classics have gone way up over the years so I decided that its time to go ahead and buy a rolling (possibly running) 68' to build up as I get the funds. I plan on selling my bike to get the best car I can for now. As long as I get something soon I can take it apart and clean up the rust, prime and prep it for paint while saving up for motor/transmission. I want to do this build right though so I will take my sweet time on it.

    I know which year and style I want for our mustang but here is where I get indecisive. Which motor would give me the most bang for the buck? What transmission works with that motor? I've been doing a lot of research and I see that the 351w from a 69 mustang would fit right in and has a TON of options for performance. If that is the case, what can I do for performance upgrades. If we're going to build up this car from scratch I want it to be a BEAST. I want as much horsepower as I can possibly cram under the hood. I'll get outside help for anything I'm unsure of but I really need a good starting point and a plan to build. So once I choose a good motor what are the basics to building up a performance engine? How do I know which parts work together and which ones will fit my motor? Is there anything I should stay away from?

    Lastly, what else should I be concerned with when choosing my fixer upper? Aside from rust, destroyed interior etc, what are some problems that I should consider for my build?

    Any experience in building up a muscle car would be greatly appreciated!!!
    #1
  2. 66Coupe289POWER

    66Coupe289POWER Member

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    Be wary of fresh paint jobs and lots of undercoating, both of those can hide a lot of damage.
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  3. jackson0215

    jackson0215 Member

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    Look in the cowl. This is an area that collects water and is toast in allot of the cars. If you do end up with a car that has a rusted out cowl it is a major ordeal to cut it out and replace it. If the seller will let you crawl under the dash and have someone pour water into the cowl vents. If it was good and sealed the water will come out the sides and behind the fenders. If not it will come out at the fire wall and everywhere else under the dash.
    #3
  4. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    the best restoration projects are the ones with a son or close realative.it will be the one you remember the most. as 66 coupe said watch out for fresh paint or even primer it may be hiding somthing. check inside the trunk ,does the floors look wrinkled or the inside of the rear quarters?that means rear end dammage. check the rear frame rails above the rear tires for kinks ,another sign of rear end dammage. look under the car at the floors for holes or poorly replaced panels. i have seen some fairly decent cars on craigs list lately but look them over well and good hunting.
    #4
  5. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    Wow, this is some great advice guys thanks! I've never heard of this cowl issue but I can imagine that would be a real PIA to repair. Great advice to check into. Horse sence thanks, I always wanted to build a car with my kids so I can't imagine doing any project other than the first car I had...It's going to be VERY tough to hand over the keys to him someday lol. I'll be sure and check all around for any kind of rust, or damage. Luckily I live in Texas and as long as the car is from around here there shouldn't be any damage from salt on the roads since its always hot as can be. I've seen a lot of interesting projects on craigslist but unfortunately due to the age of these cars there are so few that don't have some form of damage somewhere and especially in the low price range I'm aiming for. I want the right car so if I have to wait a little longer to get it, that's fine with me. Aside from craigslist, do you know of any other great places to check?
    #5
  6. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    auto trader is a good place to look. and there is another one i think is called old ford trader, but you will probably find your car just down the street:rlaugh: . you probably will not find one that doesn't need some type of panel replacement ,battery apron, radiator support ,or small patch panels but these are not a major problem to fix. just check frame rails for damage every thing else is a fairly simple replacement. usualy where the cowl rots out is around the two vent openings inside ,but i have seen them rot in the middle inside.
    #6
  7. Falcon79

    Falcon79 Active Member

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    As for the motor, a 351W can make plenty of power. But with power comes great responsibility... Like the responsibility of finding a 9 inch rear and upgrading to disc brakes.
    #7
  8. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    Hey guys, I know its been months but I wanted to revive this thread since I have an update =) My wife surprised me last sunday with an early 30th bday present...a 68 just like i wanted! She got a fantastic deal on it. Interior looks immaculate, and get this...it runs haha! The only downside is the massive amount of rust hiding underneath it. I've been doing a lot of research on rust and I'm trying to formulate a plan to tackle this rust issue. I have some pictures of it in my album. Mostly the rust is in wheel wells, undercarriage, and different panels. I want to do this right, so should i just start pulling panels one at a time, sanding, repairing and applying rust inhibitor? What about the undercarriage? It would be so much easier if i could just roll the car over and sandblast lol. I really just want to make sure I stop it from spreading...especially since I know i'm going to be sinking a lot of money into it. Jackson, i just remembered your cowl advice...I'll have to run home after work and pour water in there...*fingers crossed*.
    #8
  9. Iamdiffrnt

    Iamdiffrnt Member

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    After sinking way too much time and money into my project, the first thing I would suggest (after checking the cowl) is to pull the seats, and carpet. If there is a trunk mat, remove that too. Find someone else you trust, and knows a bit about sheet metal, to take an honest look at your car. He won't have the rose colored glasses, that people tend to have when getting a project they are really excited about. Listen to what he has to say, and don't get mad if he says you have a lot of work ahead of you. As was mentioned, also look at the apron panel, and frame rail below the battery.

    Good luck!!
    #9
  10. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    IMG_3949.JPG Checked out the cowel with a little help, no leaks inside the firewall! Looking into the cowel there is surprisingly very little rust...hope to find more good news! Here's my helper =) I'm not sure if I'm in the right forum but I'd like to get a thread going that shows my rebuild process. If there is a better place to post it let me know and I'll start a new one. I've got a lot of up close pictures of the condition I'd like to put in.
    #10
    Iamdiffrnt likes this.
  11. candphall

    candphall Member

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    What a great project . I for one would like to see more. I will also say that this is probably the best group of individuals that I have ever been involved with. I am a one man operation and I would say older than most on the forum, with out their encouragement and expertise I would be no where. Just do as I do, listen ask questions and most importantly don't be afraid to do..
    #11
  12. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    cool lets get started. any ideas on how you want it to be when finished?
    #12
  13. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement candphall! "Don't be afraid to do" is probably the best advice I've heard yet. Thats sort of where I am at the moment. I've been struggling all week with the idea of taking apart a running vehicle but honestly it needs the work, its not tagged or inspected so I won't be driving it, and the drivetrain needs work as well as a lot of body/rust repair. It would be wrong to let this thing get in worse shape by not fixing the rust that is spreading everywhere. Sounds like this weekend I'll have to get started!

    Horse Sense, I'm not 100% sure where I want to go with this project but I have an idea. I want to keep the interior the same, maybe I'll put a fancy steering wheel in but for the most part I love the look of these classic interiors. I definately want to strip it down as far as I possible can to do rust repair/patches which means pulling the motor and tranny...wish i had a rotisserie lol. My original plan was to put a beefed up 351w in it but that will get expensive quick so I think I'll keep my mild 289 in there with some upgrades when I get to that point...i'm sure it has plenty of years left in it. I plan on doing the disk brakes upgrade, and as much as I can possibly afford elsewhere. For paint I'm thinking an electric blue with white race stripes from the hood to the trunk. Of course I'm always open for suggestions!
    #13
  14. woodsnake

    woodsnake Active Member

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    As far as your engine build goes, what are your plans, that require so much horse power? Are you planning a track car, or just a cruiser?
    In addition to the fact that speed costs money, it can also really not be what you want. A fresh 289 with a decent mid range cam will make a fun street car, pretty easily. If you want a big fire breathing 351W, stroked out to a 427 with an aluminum heads and a blower or turbo, then you will need a new transmission, and rear gear to use the new power. Plus the suspension, and brakes, and...
    If you don't have the engine building tools already, they can add up pretty fast. If you aren't familiar with how to set up a valve train, that can get pretty expensive during the learning curve.
    However, if you just want a gnarly burn out from a cool looking cruiser, that is much easier, and cheaper to get!
    A new carb, intake manifold, and ignition, as well as a pair of headers and 2 1/2 inch pipe with some performance mufflers will make the car a lot more fun, and won't break the bank all at once. Keep your eyes on your local craigslist for parts. Also all of the forums have cars and parts wanted and for sale. Summit can be a good friend too! I LOVE summit...
    You can still get a deal on some parts on ebay as well, if you don't mind refinishing things yourself.
    If the car runs and drives now, decide what you really want from it, and make a plan. There are many, many options, all of which cost money. If you can or can't do the work yourself, you need to plan for that, too. Shop labor is very expensive, especially if you say "performance".
    If there is a local car club near by, maybe you can get in with a few of those guys. Get a ride in their car, and rethink your plan.
    #14
  15. jackson0215

    jackson0215 Member

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    My dad bought my 67 in 69 after returning from Vietnam. 35 years later he passed it on to me. I thought it was pretty clean, the cowl was in good shape and looking at it with everything together it looked great and ran! Once I started taking everything apart, and I do mean EVERYTHING I found more and more rust. Not tons just a little here and a little there. If you have time and the skill cut out more then you think you need to. If you do not have the skill take it to someone that does. You will find that some of the metal may not have holes but the metal is considerably thinner and should still be replaced. I took mine and have the inside and underside sandblasted. It will reveal the true condition of the metal!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
    #15
  16. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    Well, I didn't get the time that I had hoped to have all weekend to work on it but I did drill out the trunk lock to get in (no key). Trunk looks great, only a little surface rust but no carpets or anything back there. @woodsnake I was wanting to build something that I could take to the track occasionally. I do want to be able to drive it on the street though...responcibly. I know that may be way down the road. I'm pretty much set on keeping the 289 for now since I can't afford the massive new drivetrain cost lol. Any advice on what carb, intake, headers, and exhuast would make a very nice (and fast) streetable cruiser? I do plan on doing everything on my own and I'm willing to take my time and do things right. I'm not completely new to working on automotive, I've always worked on my own cars and I did build a pretty sweet motorcycle on my own. @jackson0215 I'm glad your dad shared that with you! I'm a bit nervous as to what I'll find the farther i dig into this mustang lol. I know it will be worth it in the end and even though its a coupe I love it. The only thing about sandblasting is cost. I'm hoping to get by with a wire wheel on my 3 1/2 in grinder and a die grinder.
    #16
  17. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    if you a decent air compressor ,hoabor freight has a good sand blast unit that works quite well for brackets and small areas that need blasting ,although i did blast a complete under side with mine once .
    #17
  18. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    I haven't check harbor freight but I was looking at one at Northern Tool. It might be a good investment in the long run...
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  19. horse sence

    horse sence Please don't call me Mom SN Certified Technician

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    Northern tools has a very nice unit as well :nice:
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  20. djesurun1

    djesurun1 Member

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    So what is the best method for stripping, sandblasting, and restoring? Should I start with simple, easily removable items like trunk lid, doors, hood, etc, and then work my way up to quarter panels, fenders, and remove motor\tranny? Just trying to plan this process without turning my car into a pile of parts. What is typical with this level of restoration? Also, after sandblasting I would assume it would be best to immediately apply a primer right? Any recommendations?
    #20

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