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Discussion in '1974 - 1978 Mustang II Talk & Tech' started by deadhead5.0, May 2, 2005.
I agree so much, your now my Sig. spokesperson, COBRAIIW
The Bad: 1974 signified the end of what many people loved, Muscle bound Mustang's. The Mustang II was not even available with a V8 in 1974! The Mustang II does share many of the same parts and similar styling to a Pinto. Ralph Nadder (spelled wrong?) spear headed a conspiricy surrounding the early Pinto's and their burst into flame tendency's. Ralph admitted that nearly any small 70's car would likely do the same thing, but the Pinto was chosen, as it was destined to kill the most number of people. (because it sold so many copies). So you kill the Muscle car, replace it with a car that does not even have a V8, that is based heavily on a car that everyone knows explodes in a collision, and you get the Mustang II! The Camaro and the Trans-Am were basically the same old muscle car that dated back to 1970 (less the muscle). The Camaro and the Trans-am were embraced by the aftermarket because of their long model run and how easy they were to work on. A 305 or a 301 can be swapped out for a good old small block Chev easly by any car guy. The F-body twins were performance cars with good handeling, braking and styling. A Mustang II had economy car small brakes and 13" 4 bolt wheels and love it or hate it styling. A 302 barely fits in a Mustang II, and was reverse engineered into the car. The engine is mounted too far forward and it is not even in centered from the factory. (offset by an inch). The stock exhaust on a Mustang II is tiny and very restrictive, proper duel exhaust is difficult to run.
The Good: A Mustang II is likely the lightest V8 car Ford ever made. The hood does close over the 302, so it fits (just watch the carb stud). It weights about as much as the doors off a 70-81 F body! The 139hp 302 can be easly replaced with any Muscle bound 302. The C4 transmission is great for performance and can be made bullit proof for cheap. The 8" Ford rear axle is the baby brother to the Ford 9" (ledgendary for strenght) and it is extreamly difficult to kill one in a Mustang II (my car has nearly 400 hp with nitrous and a stock 8"). The shocks are staggered like a boss 302. A Mustang II handels very well even in stock form. The front suspension in a II is superior to the 64 1/2 to 73 and 79 to present Mustang's. Kits are available to upgrade 64 1/2 to 73 and 79 to 2004 mustangs with Mustang II front ends. Street rodders and kit car builders use the Mustang II front end and every known performance suspension part is readly available. Big brake packages are also common. The 4 bolt 13" wheels can be swapped for 5 bolt 14" to 17" wheels with minimal effort. Just owning a Mustang II in 2005 is very unique. Owning a unique 64 1/2 to 73 or a 79-2005 is very difficult at best.
I was born in 1974, so why people hated Mustang II's was beyond me. I saw an affordable Mustang that looked like a sixties Mustang and handeled better to boot! I know what it is like to hate a car though. In 1989 Ford was going to replace the Mustang with the Ford Probe. I hated the Probe, (I still get enraged when I see one). Ford was going to take my beloved American pony car and replace it with a Ford-alized Japanese Mazda MX6! Thankfully Ford changed its mind. The 89 Ford Probe, is in it's own right a pretty cool little performance coupe, but I hate it. (Just like people hate the Mustang II). You can tell me the Probe ran mid 15's with a high tech turbo four, handeled great, looked great, but I still hate it! I think Mazda builds high quality cars, but they tried to take away the Mustang. Mazda tried to take away my fun, freedom, style and way of life. I am going to go kick my 323 now
It may just be me, but I'm getting a little irritated at hearing people say how "light" these cars were. Mustang IIs were not "light". They are small cars, but weigh much more than their outside appearance. All the factory V8 IIs I've owned weighed between 3016 and 3250 (my Ghias being the heaviest). The smaller engine cars were about 150-200lbs lighter.
The Fox body cars were made from much thinner metal and didn't have all the heavy frame and suspension components. I had a 79 Mustang with a 4 banger and it weighed 2725. Most 79-86 Foxes weigh in about 3100lbs, and the 87-93s got a little heavier, at around 3200-3300 for the V8 cars.
The II was not "light", and with it's strong body and frame construction, it was actually a pretty heavy car for it's size.
Good points Mustangj... but, at least the II still looked like a Mustang as opposed to the Probe. Regardless... to the performance crowd of the time, the II's simply missed the mark completely. The fact they were so unique in many ways too (as you pointed out), was no doubt a real turn off for those that were used to easily increasing perfomance under the shade tree on a summer afternoon. The challenges dealing with the new emission technology alone was enough to irritate even the most experienced mechanics.
Thinking back on most the early-mid 70's cars, most people hated all of them for a variety of reasons....many with good reason. Perhaps because Mustangs were just so popular in the decade before, the resentment became somewhat magnified, moreso than it might with other cars.
The biggest "mistake" about the MII, and in my opinion the thing that started the whole MII hating thing, was the name. The "II" designation was the single biggest mistake. It basically told people "this is not a Mustang, but something different". It gave people a reason to hate the car, because even in Ford's eyes, it wasn't a full fledged Mustang. The II designation seperated these cars from all others that bear the Mustang badge. If there was no II designation, and in 74 is was just the "new Mustang", I bet anything none of this would have ever happened. It would just be a particular year that wasn't overly popular, like the 71-73, but it would still have the same respect as any other Mustang.
I agree and disagree at the same time. Your point is well taken. But, while many people thought exactly as you stated, I believe some others felt it was supposed to be basically the SAME kind of Mustang that Ford built in 1964. In other words, a return to the Mustang that WAS.
I think the bad feelings would have happened anyway. The Mustang "enthusiasts" of the time only made it worse than the normal reactions of the general public. Add to that, that it took MCA many years to accept the II's into the "hobby", and acknowlwdge them as "real Mustangs"...
and it's no wonder.
Light is a relitive term. A Mustang II Coupe with no options weights about the same as a Mustang II hatch. A Mustang II Ghia weights more then a regular coupe or hatch back II. Mustang II hatch backs with few options generally weight less then a fox coupe. A fox coupe is lighter then a fox hatch back. A fox coupe is not "light", but it weights less then just about any V8 muscle car. A Mustang II is about 600-800 pounds lighter then a 1978 Camaro or Firebird. A Mustang II is a little tank compared to a fox, but the fox is a larger car that generally weights slightly more. My V8 Ghia automatic weighed 3150LBS. My 1978 Mustang 2+2 hatch weighed 2850. 1978 Mach 1 V8 T-top weighed 2900LBS (when it was stock). I weighed the cars at a local truck weight station (very acurate). The Mustang all performance cars are compared to is a 1987-93 Mustang coupe. A 87-93 coupe weights more then 3100lbs. Advantage II
I have a NY state calibrated truck scale on my property(this was/is a functional coal delivery business) I can weigh the cat when he walks across the scale, and it's that accurate up to 35,000 lbs. (even though the scale was originally built around 1918)
I'm close to fanatical about car weight, as I see it as "Free acceleration."
Anyway, I've weighed every car and truck I've ever owned, and all my friends bring their cars and trucks here too, because I'm the only guy in the area with such an accurate scale.
My 77 Coupe weighed a hair over 2800 lbs. stock, with stock 302, iron intake and exhausts, etc. Though I havent weighed it lately with the 17" wheels and such, it's probably about 2500. (the lightest it ever was, 2400. Sans bumpers, sound deadening, carpet, anything else that wasnt nailed down)
My 85 Stang GT 5-speed, 3050.
My 68 Cougar, 302, auto, 3400lbs.
82 Nissan 200sx, 4cyl, 5-speed, 2500 lbs.
94 Stang, 302, auto, 3500 lbs.
90 Stang GT 5-speed, 3200.
70(or 71?) Maverick 302 4-speed toploader, 3000 lbs.
71' Dodge Demon, 340 auto, 3300 lbs.
Mid-90s Honda Civic hatch, manual trans, 2600 lbs.
99 Super Duty, 7.3 PS, auto, 8000 lbs.
02 GMC 40' Flatbed wrecker, 290hp Cat, 9-speed Fuller, 18,700 lbs unladen.
I've weighed a LOT of cars, but those are the ones that stuck in my head.
I've yet to see a V8 car lighter than the II on my scale, in stock trim. I know an AC Cobra is lighter, even with a 427, they're about 2300 pounds, but I've yet to weigh a real one. (I've weighed my friend's Daytona coupe with a 351W, but it's a tube-frame fiberglass kit, and I can't recall it's weight, I think 2500?)
Here's something I have pondered lately, and it fits into this thread...
IF the II is so universally hated, why is almost every streetrod equipped with a "Mustang II" IFS, and not a "Pinto" IFS? Including the big name , no-stock-II-part aftermarket setups? They're all "Mustang II" IFS setups (as opposed to, say, "tubular long/short arm independent") in every article, ad, etc.
I can recall in the '80s how excited people were over V8 Pintos, never saw that about IIs.
I'm not doubting anyone knowing the different weights of the cars, but I am trying to make sense of it and I can't figure it out. Typically in the other model mustangs (65-70, fox) I always thought the coupe was lighter than the fastback. I guess that would explain why Shelby only used the fastbacks. What makes a Ghia so much heavier? The rear glass is much smaller, no fold down seat, lighter side glass when compared to a hatch back. So far I have come up with center console, slightly heavier door panels, window inserts, vinyl top. What am I missing?
I know nothing about the actual weights of any of the cars as I have never had any of mine to a scale before. Would the presence or absence of A/C, power steering vs. manual, auto vs. standard tranny have alot to do with the weight?
All things being equal, a notchback is lighter than a fastback. Shelby used fastbacks because they're more aerodynamic, and because most people think they look cooler.
I weighed the II stock flywheel together with an aftermarket clutch assembly, and it weighed somewhere around 70 lbs.(!!) That's a HELL of a lot of weight to be slinging around in there at 6500rpm. But since the motors were only 139hp, the factory decided that the extremely heavy flywheel would give the cars a better launch.(more likely to chirp the tires during hard shifting, too)
For reference, I also weighed the II flexplate, stock converter and one quart of transmission fluid, and it weighed somewhere around 13lbs. The difference in throttle response between stock auto and stock manual is huge, and that's why.
The flywheel/clutch assembly alone weighs nearly as much as the entire C4 auto.
All of the A/C components certainly add a lot of weight,(there's a larger fan on the engine with A/C, too) but I've never taken them all and put them on the scale, because none of my IIs ever had A/C.
I DID weigh the power steering rack when I removed it, and if I recall, it was somewhere around 35 pounds.(with lines, ATF, and pump)
The manual pinto rack I installed weighed less than 10 pounds.
Note: You know you might be fanatical with vehicle weight when you ask everyone who rides in your car how much they weigh, and then compare them to mechanical components' parasitic losses. My one friend only weighs 130lbs, so I tell him he's worth a power steering pump.(13hp) But my other friend weighs 300lbs, so he's worth a freekin whole transmission.(30hp) I should put that guy in the trunk, I bet the Stang might hook up.
This is true. Ford's press releases for the 'new' 79 Mustang claimed it to be lighter than its predecessor. Check the MVMA data, a decked out Cobra II could easily weigh 3250lbs. Of course that's still a whole lot lighter than my 97 Cobra @ 3390.
This one only weighed 2700, but it has no bumper guts, has plexi - not glass, a gutted interior, and some metal cut away.
<img src="http://188.8.131.52/coDataImages/p/Groups/206/206743/folders/148843/1061522GT1-MII-1.jpg" width="470" height="279">
hmmm. I like all mustangs, but from about 1972 till about 1985-6 they were ugly as sin... of course IMO. different strokes for different folks. I've seen about 3 Mustang II's in my lifetime. I was born in 1980
Here is my .02 cents: I think the general mood of the overall mustang population is that they were &%^$ OFF after 1973. The new mustang was not "acceptable" to them. I think this ran past the 78 model year and I would submit to you all that it carried until the 82 Boss is Back mustang came out.
I do agree that part of it was the name change.....it told the world that.......Even FORD seperated these models from the other Mustangs by giving it the "II" moniker.
I also believe it was the "European look" or idea of where it came from, after almost a decade of American Muscle....maybe some believed that Ford was selling out. Even GM and blue star offered the same basic size car. Not a car on a diet.
NO V-8 offered, sacrilidge from a American Car Company. Other car companies still offered V-8's, depowered as they may have been, it was still a V-8......... a symbol of power and muscle. Gee, maybe we should have had a V8.
Even when you read about the 302 offered in 75, it is called a weak 122 hp and in 76 a pathetic 139 hp. I checked both 72 and 73 cars offered a 140 hp V8 302. So less than 200 hp V8's were not that uncommon before or after 74.
I think the real revival was on the 82 model, it's design, heavy on the spoilers (if the 70's were tape and go, the 80's maybe were slap a spoiler on). It looked bad, muscular, fog lights, etc. Even Saleen started with the 84 model.
The bottom line for me is most mustangers were mad with Ford for producing "a lesser mustang" so to speak during those years, and they hold it against those year models not the executives who made the decision. Face it, Mustang, Mustang II, it is all the same DNA. We have the only unbroken survivor of the pony car wars of the 60's. No one else can claim that. I think that the Mustang II series saved the name and spot at Ford for the continued success of this model. I really wish they never called it a mustang II, just mustang. They say they did it because it was such a radical change in style. Well so was the 70's models from the 66 model and no one changed the name. I think Ford learned a lesson, no one called the 79 model a Mustang III or the 94 a Mustang IV, etc.
I can't remember anyone saying to me they hated MII's.
I have had people tell me they hate FORDS, but, Thats a nice looking car.
It happens every summer. I get my car out in April. About a week or two ago a guy in a 4x4 truck giving me a big thumbs up.
The new cars don't have the same sound as our old V-8's with 34" glasspacks.
whats not to love about this and if they dont SCREW'EM
in the late 80's through the late 90's i was heavily involved in a couple of the local car clubs. i was actual turned away from joining a shelby/mustang club because they did not consider my king a real mustang. my king was always the running joke in the local all ford club but it was never bashed by them. pretty good group of guys. the culture in this area has changed enough where the II's are welcome at the shelby/mustang shows.
i like the fact that the king is so different. even with the cobras and the ford letters on the car many people have no clue what it is and i am continually approach by people asking me what kind of car it is. i have even had one guy ask me if it was a kit car or was it custom built. the best one i had was at the local parts store. looking for brake pads. the kid behind the counter said he didn't even now they made a mustang in 1978.
i lean towards the II designation being a big part of it but also the time frame it was built. many people associate those years as being a very difficult time.