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1968 Advice on originality

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Ed-in-SD

Guest
I have recently acquired a 1968 Ford Mustang, California Special C-code, 289 two-barrel car. The original color is Gulfstream Aqua and overall, it's in very good shape. Kept in dry storage, minimal rust, engine runs.

The car was garaged for the last 20 years and covered in a carport for seven years prior to that. It has 83,000 miles on it with about 9,000 on the 289, which was a replacement motor (from Motor Replacement Co) installed in 1992.

I have various short- term and long- term aspirations for this car and it's quite sentimental to me as the previous owner was my best friend from high school and he has recently passed away from cancer.

In the short term I would like to get the car running, safe, drivable, and restored to a good original appearance. Since it's no longer a 100-percent original car, I am ok with swapping some original parts out for newer modern components, such as better brakes and other safety items.

My question is how diligent I should be about originality? Since it already has a replacement motor this car will never be a "numbers matching car". For now I will try to preserve the car and restore to as close to original as possible. I am curious how things like Wilwood brakes, Pertronix Ignitor ignition, Magnaflow exhaust, adding a 4 Barrel carb & intake (not sure I will do) would impact originality. Should I keep original everything and work with that or modernize the critical safety items like brakes & suspension. The car is in very good shape and I would like to drive it to car shows, cruise nights, etc. I plan to keep this car for a long time and give to my son.

On a side note I am being quoted $3600 to pull the C4 transmission and rebuild it because it is leaking out of the front and rear seal. I am in California so expect high prices, but I am curious if this is within reason.

I appreciate the advice to a newby. Thanks, Ed
 

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Mosesatm

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
8,699
You can replace the rear seal. It’s extremely easy.
I don’t think any of the changes you mentioned will hurt the value of the car. What part of California? We have members all over who may be able to put you in touch with good vendors and mechanics.
IMO $3,600 is outrageous, even in California!
 

Ruppstang

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Joined
May 22, 2009
Messages
2,929
Most bolt on parts do not hurt the value of the car. Just keep the parts you take off.
 

rvrtrash

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Apr 25, 2003
Messages
3,619
I agree with previous posts. I would also say for just cruise nights, occasional driving around town, etc., the stock suspension and brakes will be just fine. You may have to replace some of those components because the car was sitting for so long, but you won't need the extra expense of higher end parts.
 

Mosesatm

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Jan 18, 2005
Messages
8,699
Do you happen to know if your car is in our registry? If you message your VIN to me I can add it, or you can do so in the menu on the left side of the screen.
 

stangfan

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Joined
Jun 12, 2012
Messages
1,787
I prefer originality, but it is really up to the individual. My car does not have the original engine, but the one it has has been built the correct way, i.e. it is a C code built from a 302 block but with 289 internals, as the factory did. The only mods I have done are a Petronix ignition under the cap and a dual exhaust system. Just my .02 worth. :grin:
 
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Ed-in-SD

Guest
Thanks everyone. I appreciate the feedback and will use it.

Mosesatm, I am in San Diego, CA. I too thought $3600 was a bit outrageous. Thank you for confirming. I have contacted the Web Site Admin to add my car to the registry.

The car came with a boxed set of 4 Wilwood brakes and master cylinder so that's a no brainer. I will keep anything that comes off the car per your advice. For drivability & fun I certainly do not mind better performance in any area.

The fuel tank is shot so I will be putting a new fuel tank in vs getting the old one fixed. Please let me know if that is a no-no.
Thanks again, Ed
 

CougarCJ

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Joined
Jul 17, 2006
Messages
2,126
I would definitely change the fuel tank and the fuel lines.
Also, don't be afraid to upgrade to a 1968-69, 302, visually there really is no difference between a 289 and 302 in 1968.

Wilwood brakes, use the existing drum brake spindles I believe.
 

Mosesatm

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Joined
Jan 18, 2005
Messages
8,699
I would definitely change the fuel tank and the fuel lines.
Also, don't be afraid to upgrade to a 1968-69, 302, visually there really is no difference between a 289 and 302 in 1968.

Wilwood brakes, use the existing drum brake spindles I believe.

And the 302 has a lot more punch.
 

CougarCJ

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Jul 17, 2006
Messages
2,126
Wait! so all CS had 302 blocks with 289 internals, what about the heads?

The C Code 289-2V engines did.
Ford was phasing out the 289 engines around the time of the strike. By the time that the GT/CS's arrived, I believe that most if not all received the 302 block, with 289 crank and 289 cylinder heads.
 
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E

Ed-in-SD

Guest
Yes, thank you to all.

I replaced the fuel tank and lines, had 2bl Carb rebuilt, and got to drive the car today. It is running well but the manual brakes pull badly to one side. So we will expedite the install of the Wilwood 4 disc kit + master cylinder & booster install (24 hours of labor is the quote with hard line replacement=$$$$).

I will hold off on the C4 rebuild and put up with a leaking transmission for now (the transmission seems to work fine).

Also planning to get the Legendary GT7 Shelby 10 spoke 15”X7” rims from CJ Pony Parts. The Wilwood brakes need at least a 15” rim so I have to upgrade the rims that are on there now. Going with P235/60/15 on all 4 wheels at the recommendation of the shop. I will post a picture once those are on.
 

franklinair

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Mar 1, 2007
Messages
4,614
You mentioned wanting to keep your GT/CS pretty much original. Here's my very first CS: 289, A/T, P/S. I added an Edelbrock 4BBL intake & 550CFM carb. For normal driving, I simply added a P/B booster for the drum brakes. Much more cost-effective rather than the Disc Brake conversion cost. Disc brakes came about for racing & performance cars, but for normal driving, drum brakes work safely & efficiently.
I also added the 10-spoke Shelby wheels with F70-215-15 tires.
Hope this helps.

Neil
 

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Gatorbait

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Nov 1, 2005
Messages
62
Just save all of the parts. It can all be undone. I am just about done with a really nice resto of a loaded red/red C Code car. My car was 100 percent complete down to the plug wires. I put in upgraded seatbelts, Borgenson steering, closed chambered heads with Chevy valves, period correct Edelbrock intake, 4 barrel Holley, K-code manifolds, 3 row radiator and an improved york aluminum AC compressor. I added Shelby 10 spokes and redline tires. We are also having the guts of the AM/8 track removed and replaced with HD radio with Bluetooth. My goal was a car that had better performance but generally looked original. I went with period correct where I could and even the upgraded compressor looks similar to the oem York. I saved all the original parts, including all Of the pollution control components. It’s all bolt on. But we want to drive and enjoy the car and 60 year old technology isn’t always the ticket for enjoyment.
 

Gatorbait

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Joined
Nov 1, 2005
Messages
62
Here’s a couple of pics of our (the wife’s) car. We also went with a black stripe. The original car had a black vinyl roof and a white stripe, a very odd combo.
 

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