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Hoping to pick the collective ChampCar brain on this one...

I have a 1965 mustang coupe with a 200ci striaght six and automatic that is in fairly decent condition. One of the guys I work with offered me a "289 with 302 heads and a hot cam" that was built about 10 years ago but never ran for free if I just get it out of his way. I went to look at it yesterday and this is what I found:

Heads are stamped "289" in the valve spring area (guessing they're not 302 heads not sure if "hi-po")
Heads are aggressively ported on the intake and exhaust side

Forged aluminum pistons with deep valve reliefs (not sure if they're "domed"??)
Stock appearing rods and crankshaft
Double roller timing chain
Haven't looked at the cam to try to get specs

I have lots of questions as I've never really messed with SBF stuff or pushrod motors in general, but this seems like a solid foundation for my very limited budget. My plan is to swap a T5 (cheap/available) and find an 8" rear end and do a basic shelby drop and leaf spring suspension with front discs.  I have a guy with a huge collection of classic mustang parts willing to sell me the front suspension pieces and brakes for what he paid for them 20+ years ago. I'd like to build this into a street car, work out the bugs and then start converting it into a track car if all goes well. 

If anyone has any experience, input or parts for sale let me know! I'm excited to start messing with this car.

Edited by gr1vlet
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22 minutes ago, Ron_e said:

If @jmabarone offer falls through I'm next!


Put it together for the street and enjoy, run with the free engine.  Not the best track car, much better options out there.

I realize it's not a great track car, but It's just something I've wanted to do with this car since I was a kid. 

I never really asked any of my many questions, but does anyone have experience with a T5 on an older SBF? I know you have to cobble together parts from various vehicles to make it work. I'm also curious on what sort of distributor to use, it looks like the HEI style can be had for cheap and you don't need a coil, but I don't know the first thing about them or what to look for.

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1 minute ago, gr1vlet said:

Is there something to look for specifically? I've found them anywhere from $50 to upwards of $250.


Figure out the year of the block before buying, if you have the OE unit it will provide critical measurements to ease ordering, if on a budget go cheap, HEI is easy to fix if it goes out.


1 wire hookup simplicity is what you are gaining.

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7 hours ago, SiberianDVM said:

I've got a couple of Mustang hotrodding books at home. I'll look for them tonight and let you know what they are. They are yours if you want them, as I have too many projects already, at least according to SWMBO.

Thanks, that would be awesome! I'd gladly exchange some beer or other libation for them!

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On 2/7/2018 at 9:45 PM, gr1vlet said:

Thanks, that would be awesome! I'd gladly exchange some beer or other libation for them!


I found 2 Mustang books in my stash, both probably outdated, but you might pick us a useful tip or two.


Mustang Performance & Handling Guide, Peter C. Sessler, 1985

Mustang Restoration Guide, Don Taylor &Tom Wilson, 1987


Just send me your name/address and I'll USPS them to you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Or for a direct swap, go buy an Exploder that runs/drives, cam slap it so it sounds cool, and you have all your wiring for an easy "GT40" motor swap... Good driveability, resto-mod look with the late model fuel injected motor (if you are into that...)


I only glanced thru the thread, but a T5 should bolt right up using Fox body components

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