: trouble spots to look for on old cars
07-29-2009, 09:01 AM
Ok I'll come strait out with it. A 1969 Mustang that I know of recently became for sale. Its been sitting for a while but it has documentation to go with it and all parts. Its a fixer upper for sure. What I'm looking for is if its a good base to start with. They say it needs a carb to run right. They don't know much about cars though. Its my friend's brother's girlfriends car. Its been in the family so thats why there is all the paperwork for it. I'm going to look at it today with a fine eye. I've always seen and bug them for not fixing it or anything. I know to look for rust around the cowl, rocker panels, floor pans, TQ boxes, frame, and bottom of the doors. Where else should I look and what else should I look for. I know there are some vintage gear heads on the site so guys please help me out. If there is too much rust or rust in the wrong spots I won't buy it. If its in decent shape I might just throw it back together enough to drive it around for a little bit. Or I might finish stripping it down and and get it painted. But I don't wnat to get ahead of my self just yet. Engine work and tranny work is not a problem though obviously it's be better if it everything worked. I'll be checking in to see what ya'll say. Oh and its a 351 could be a cleveland or a windsor not sure yet. If it's a 2bbl 351C it'll be a 250hp lol but hey it'll have potential ether way.
07-29-2009, 09:33 AM
not a vintage gear head but ive seen my share of cars. check around the windshield and rear window for rust as its a pain to fix and it will leak. the trunks rot out too. check for accident evidence in the fenders, bad repair bondo jobs, etc.
it may only be 250hp but its most likely 300+ftlbs tq. throw a 4bbl on it and it will jump up, i believe the 4bbl version made 290hp. though it may have had other things like headers etc.
07-29-2009, 10:20 AM
On these older vehicles, I'd be suspicious of the frame in particular. A lot of the rust on these box type frames comes from the inside. My friend bought an old Impala (I know apples to oranges here) and the frame looked great, but it ended up breaking in half. I'm not entirely familiar with the type of frame this car has, but from personal experience, I'd check that.
07-29-2009, 10:55 AM
they are unibody cars from what I've read. Window areas are checked off on my list of things to check out. And yes it put out about 330 tq if I remember correctly and that was the 2bbl and the 4bbl put out 300hp. I need to find out if its a 351W or a 351C
07-29-2009, 11:21 AM
Ok, the 351C is huge, the 351W is 302 sized. You most likely have a W or an M 351 as these were so much more common. Basically, the 351 would completely fill up the small engine compartment of an old Mustang.
Suspension bushings and control arms are suspect for damage. You should replace the front control arms at some point. These things just bend up over time- unless it's a twin I-beam suspension like on the older trucks.
POR-15 will help you maintain rust and sufficiently repair rust that is in areas like the quarter panel that isn't so bad that the entire part needs to be re-welded. PM me before you crack a can of this stuff or even order it. There are things you need to be aware of so you don't waste your money.
I'd pull the gas tank. All old cars have horrible rust problems inside the gas tank. There are additives available to coat the tank and stop/prevent rust. IMO- you're better off to simply replace it with an ABS tank from someone like JC Whitney.
Repair the carb it has if it has one, it will be good for you. IMO, the car doesn't have the original engine regardless of which one it is, so it's not worth restoring- you might as well hot rod it. In that case, EFI engines transplanted into old cars will save you much pain and suffering. Carbs are good for the track and restored cars, but driving one every day can sometimes be a pain. If you do decide to keep the carb, do not get a Holley 4bbl with a power valve. Stick to something less temperamental like an Edelbrock or Carter. You can stay away from any high performance expensive carbs if your engine is not cammed for it. You don't want to be like one of my friends who put a dual 4bbl system on a 327 2bbl engine expecting to suddenly have Corvette performance. Motorcraft 2bbls are 500cfm, and fairly easy to rebuild, if that's what you have, stick with it for now until you have a design in mind and can make all the body repairs.
I'd also start immediately finding out what later model car brakes will transfer to the Mustang. I preferred this kind of disc conversion over aftermarket disc conversions. It's cheaper, and you get parts you can order at a parts store.
That's about all I can think of.
07-29-2009, 11:55 AM
I already want to modernize it. Brakes for sure, steering, and suspension. First thing first though is seeing what shape its in. It would be sweet to drive it the 1.5 mi back to my house. Oh and I thought the Windsor was the bigger of the two. From what I understand cleveland is psyichly smaller. Hince why you can stroke a windsor to 408 cubes. If its a windsor then I can convert it to fuel injection alot easier.
07-29-2009, 01:13 PM
No, the Cleveland is physically larger. I'd have to check, but I think it's a larger bore shorter stroke design as compared to the W. Do some searches for pics, there might be more telltale signs. Sorry, not much of an old Ford guy, if it was a ChryCo car, I'd give you an encyclopedia of knowledge and experience.
07-29-2009, 01:21 PM
OK, according to that, I might be wrong. Both stock blocks weigh the same. I couldn't find any block size specs. I always thought the C block looked larger, maybe because it has a shorter deck or something.
One thing I noticed in some pics was that the upper radiator hose comes from the center of the intake on the C block, and the side of the timing cover (I think) on the W. That might change due to different intake designs, and I saw and 90 degree adapter on one W block pic.
Sorry if I was wrong, I've seen both of these engines in vehicles before, but not outside a vehicle or in the same vehicle side by side. There are probably markings on the block somewhere that you can use to identify the engine, but I have no idea what those would be- not an old Ford guy again. Hopefully they didn't do like GM so you'd need a book to extrapolate the meaning of the numbers on the block.
07-29-2009, 01:54 PM
I thought the TQ boxes on the Fox's where worse than the early Mustangs, could be wrong though.
Shape really doesn't matter, anything can be fixed, including the frame/unibody.
Couple links with decent documentation of restorations:
And I though I had seen a series on Youtube that was condensed and pretty good watch.
07-31-2009, 07:08 AM
Ok car was a rust bucket. Horrible around the rear window. Well if there was a rear window there lol. Looked like bondo on around the window area with rust under it. Really couldn't turn it into a dragster ether. All well thanks for help guys. I might grab all the parts off it and sell those. The wheels are original and stuff. But I dunno a little more work like holding onto parts that I don't have room really for. I was going to make room for the car lol not parts of one lol.