Late model Junkyard parts for 66 restoration

Redemptarentals

New Member
Oct 18, 2018
8
0
1
38
Santa Barbara California
I appologise in advance if there is a perfect thread that already answers this question, if so please direct me to it.

So I am restoring a 1966 convertible and I am thinking about updating suspension, brakes and wheels, while generally keeping the rest of the car classic. Maybe I will put in modern seats... still not sure.

I know that there are aftermarket kits for all of this stuff, but I was hoping to do this project on a budget.

I was curious what experience people have had with pulling components from late model mustangs or other cars to update the handling and braking of classics. What vehicles should I be looking for in junkyards? what components lend themselves to modern replacement and what parts should just be replaced with aftermarket components.

I am an engineer and I am pretty well skilled with welding and fabricating so I am not afraid to move a mounting points and the like, but I would like to avoid opening a can of worms unnecessarily as well.

I appreciate any help.

-Layne
 
  • Sponsors(?)


WORTH

15 Year Member
Nov 18, 2002
2,122
35
98
68
Cape Cod, Ma.
68.69.48.22
What are you starting with? 6 or 8, drum or disc, std or automatic, what rear end? Where do you want to end up, weekend driver, car show trailer queen, 1/4 mile car, daily driver? And approx. where are you, Nevada dessert or Michigan winters?
 

Redemptarentals

New Member
Oct 18, 2018
8
0
1
38
Santa Barbara California
Hi Worth, thanks for the reply. Great questions.

The car is a 66 convertible sprint 6 with a C4 transmission, 4 lug wheels and an 8 inch rear end.

I would like to make it a daily driver with an emphasis on reliability safety and stability. I am not so concerned with it being fast as I am for it being safe and stable. This is why I am thinking about suspension and brakes.

My wife will be the one driving it most.

I wouldn’t mind swapping the rear end and spindles to turn it into a 5 lug setup, but I am not set on doing it unless it is really necessary to get solid reliable braking.

I am planning on doing chassis stiffening with a subframe connector, shock tower reinfcement and export member.

Also, I need to replace the driver’s door, so any help on where I could find one of those would be awesome.

Thanks.
 

WORTH

15 Year Member
Nov 18, 2002
2,122
35
98
68
Cape Cod, Ma.
68.69.48.22
Contrary to popular belief, I was driving those cars when they were new, and they are safe just the way they came out of the factory. However there are a couple of things they have done over the years to improve them greatly.
#1) While drum brakes were fine stopping on a nice day, the major drawback was water, they tend to fail when wet. So changing the fronts to power disc is a major improvement. If I were to do that I would likely go with 5 lug, which means a rear end swap as well, but you can use an 8", 8.8", or 9", they are all good differentials. I like the 9" because they are easy to work on, and quick to swap gears. And personally I've acquired a collection of them over the years.
#2) Radial tires are a huge improvement in handling, braking and wear. And if you go with radials you need to add a panard bar to the rear to keep the axle from roaming on hard turns.
#3) If I were keeping the 6 cylinder, I would keep it manual steering, the stock power steering in the early mustangs leaves a lot to be desired. I'm used to it so I like it but most people after coming out of a rack and pinion car have a problem getting used to the free play. I still have manual steering in my CJ and like it. If you need to go with power you'll either have to go to a rack and pinion, or stick with the stock power steering and get used to the way it drives. There is absolutely nothing unsafe about the stock power steering, you just need to get used to the way it feels.

That should make the car a nice daily driver, after that there is a host of little things like intermittent wipers, cruise control, a nice stereo that you will probably miss when you start driving a classic. But they can be added at any time after you're using the car.