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ANOTHER 69 R Code 428CJ Mach 1 restomod!

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I'll start off with the back story.

My name is Charles and I live in Pensacola Florida. In 1978 I traded a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle for this 1969 Mach 1 Mustang. The plan at that time was to race it in NHRA stock class. The local economy was bad and fortunately I made little effort towards racing the car other than installing a set of Hooker racing headers, purchasing a 5.14 gear with 31 spline spool and installing .540 lift Reed racing cam. I never even was able to reinstall the top end of the motor (big mistake).

The bad economy led to a move to Houston, three children and life! The Mustang was stored in Pensacola but not securely and outside. At some point while we lived in Houston someone who knew where the car was talked or they them selves stole the Hooker headers and factory chrome GT rims. That was bad enough but they uncovered the car and hood with the shaker scoop opening and unwrapped the motor that I had sealed very well in order to access the header bolts. All 16 of them. Yes I put all of them in. With the hood open and the motor unsealed there was nothing to protect the inside of the motor. We recieve around 75" of rain each year. It was several years before I discovered what happened. By that time there were plants growing in the lifter valley and the block had been full of water for years. Very disheartened I wrapped it back up but the damage was done. I fenced the back yard and life went on.

In July 1983 we returned home as broke as we left but having survived 4 more years and now with a family of two and one on the way but the economy was better and we were home. I also brought home a 70 Mach 1 351C 4 bbl Shaker Hood Mustang but that's another story. Over the mext 34 years working 50 to 60 hours a week family and life left no time to work on my car till 2017 when I retired!

After two years of retirement and finisjing a few other small projects it was decided that it was now or never to complete the 69 and so it began. First with lots of thought about what we wanted, a restoration or a restomod. The car itself was a time capsule having almost all the original parts still there. That was a great thing! I'd even stored most all the parts taken off the car when working on the motor in 1978. What was bad is that over the years I was fooling myself thinking that the car would not rust just sitting around. It did rust and badly. Worse the drip rails, which I stupidly ignored, accumulated leaves and debris resulting in rusting through. I really didn't think the roof would rust through there but it did on both sides. When that happened the door bottoms and floor pans were next. I was really surprised that while the top of the hood looked good the bottom near the front was rusted badly as was the lower lip of the trunk deck. At this point a complete examination has not been completed but I know the body work will be a lot of the money and work. Where I had it stored was kinda in an area I didn't go that often and it was blocked in by other vehicles but at least it was on a concrete slab.

After lots of thought and considering the car's as delivered options it was decided to tastefully restomod it but to do it with bolt on removable parts so that it could be returned to original state. The car was 1 of 100 built in 69. That sounds special but it's the odd grouping of options that makes it 1 of 100. We decided we did not like the Black Jade paint and we wanted the rear Sports Slats and both spoilers. Also a non AC car in Florida, not a realistic choice so adding AC was a must have. I've always wanted a rear fold down seat and have all the parts so why not. Here's a strange option on a 428CJ ! What good is a 428CJ with an open rear end and F70 14 tires, really! A traction loc and 295 18 will aid in the traction department. Definitely have to upgrade the AM only radio and the guages or lack of guages. So it was decided a tasteful restomod will happen.

I've now moved the car to where I can start stripping it down and documenting each piece. It really was quite a job to move everything in the way out of the way and then get the car rolling. But now it's moved and we can walk around it and officially commence working on it.

I've spent many many hours trying to find the right shop to do the body and paint work. After looking at a dozen or so places I think found one that can do the work at the level I want. That will start with a total strip down to metal. Currently I'm waiting on a slot in the shop to open up. The shop specializes in old school restorations and old and new chassis and engine mods. They have put a lot of Coyotes in early Fords and have the only chassis dyno in the area. While waiting for a slot to open I'll continue to strip and catalog parts.

Restomodding the 69 means I'm also going through my storage looking for parts. Yesterday I found the Thermactor air canister along with the short hose and special clamp. The Ford number on the hose was still mostly readable. I'll probably not put it on but I want to preserve an safely store it. I've also located several SCJ oil cooler assemblies complete from adapter to cooler except of course the cooler brackets. They may be there and I just havent found them. I do intend to add that option to my restomodded Mustang. While living in Houston I may not have been able to work on my car but I certainly went to swap meets and bought up parts.

Constantly on my mind has been what to do with the drive train. Having had a taste of power while young I definitely wanted that taste back. While the 428CJ is certainly no slouch I can do better. Much better! Starting with a new "Made in the USA" reinforced Dove POND NOT DOVE Aluminum block bored to 4.25 occupied by a Scat 4.25 stroker assembly topped with massaged Aluminum heads attached to a port matched Blue Thunder 2 x 4 medium riser intake will be a good foundation. All that Aluminum will be coated in Ford Corporate Blue. I have two original 427 Holley carbs that will set atop the 2 x 4 intake and a modified air cleaner base will set on the carbs. The air cleaner modified for 2 x 4"s will allow me to keep the ram air shaker hood scoop looking and operating just like stock. The cam is still to be determined but I want the car to remain streetable with the ability to idle and drive to and in cruise ins. With the proper top end the cam becomes an accessory to it and doesn't have to work as hard to make the torque and horsepower numbers desired. That also leads to good street manners and the ability to drive longer distances without worrying if it will make it.

I'll retain the C6 although it will be highly modified to handle the additional torque and horsepower additional I'll add a Gear Vendors overdrive to it. To stroke my memories I might go with a manual cable body.

Moving to the rear it seems that everybody is going to the four link setups and I confessed when I saw there were bolt in units with minimal welding I was smitten with lust. BUT then I remembered in the 70's there were many cars running 10's and low 11's with leaf springs. What were they doing. I started an intensive internet search that led me to Charles Maier. You might remember Maier Racing doing road racing years ago. He says you can gave a great handling Mustang with three things. The right springs engineered properly with proper supportive parts, a Panhard bar and the right shocks. With those three you can turn, accelerate and decelerate safely and very quickly. No sway bar. No wheel hop and awesome launches. One of his satisfied customers has a 750 hp Mustang. This is a bolt in operation except for the Panhard top bracket but it could be easily removed if someone wanted to restore the car.

As mentioned I'll upgrade to a traction lock and most likely a 3.91 gear that could have been optioned in 69. An Aluminum driveshaft will connect it all.

All this go needs woah and a bunch of it! I'm still deciding but Baer or Wilwood will get the nod. 6 piston up front and 4 piston in the back. Of concern is the lack of vacuum for the power brake booster. I'm determine to try and use the factory or factory appearing master cylinder. One way to get this to work may be to gut the booster and put an hydraulic assist unit inside it thus keeping a clean factory look under the hood. Another idea is a electric vacuum pump. It's still very much a work in progress

I'm not a fan of rubber band tires so the rims will be 16" or at the most 18" and probably Magnum 500's. I dont want to mini tub the car but there is one small area in the front of the wheel well that may need some modification. I'm not opposed to rolling the lips as was done on the Boss cars and really Ford should have done on the CJ's. Other than that I'll play with wheel spacing to maximize the rear tire width. 295 17 are possible and its said with proper wheel spacing 315 18 will fits. We'll have to see. I also have to consider the overall appearance of the finished car. I still am striving for a factory look.

That pretty much leaves only a few things. One is the front suspension. I settled on Total Control Products coil over conversion which is a bolt on kit. I researched a lot of kits a feel this is the best one for me. They also have a bolt on true power steering that replaces the under engine crossmember strengthening the front chassis. The crossmember actually sets higher not hanging down like others. A one inch drop spindle that uses a late model snout for larger bearings will also be used.

I'll need a awesome cooling system for this engine and the anticipated usage of low speed driving during cruises or parades or maybe some autocross events. In any event I'll choose one that resembles the factory appearance but is made of aluminum and has the capacity to keep things cool in the harshest of conditions. A high volume Aluminum water pump will be installed but not an electric one. I'll probably have to use an electric fan but maybe I can use it as a puller inside the fan shroud where it will be hidden instead of a pusher. While I'm in the engine compartment I recently became aware of dummy hollow batteries that appear stock shaving weight off the front end and allowing one to but the battery in the trunk like the Boss cars. I'll do that

So if your still reading this and I commend you if you are you're probably wondering what color is he painting this. Well here you go! Acapulco Blue with the Mach 1 Gold stripes. I'm thinking to put just a touch of Gold metallic into to Blue paint. IMHO that will be truly original but faithful to the Ford design and keeping in the spirit of the proud Mustang heritage!

I will try and preserve all of the original parts. I want the car to appear stock to the casual observer and only if start looking closer will you start to see the changes.

I really want to hear everyone's comments good or bad. Also the build is still very much in the development stage and parts and ideas may change.

Thanks for reading.
Charles AKA Darkman in Pensacola FL

November 6th,2019

Here's a brief update.

The aluminum block is out and a BBM cast iron block will be used. This is on the advice of many top tier FE engine builders. I've become aware of the ability to install 6R80 6 speed automatic behind the stroked FE. I've ordered the adapter from Bendsten and it should be here soon. I've acquired a 6R80 that came from a 2013 Mustang with a Coyote motor. This was not my first choice as I figured a F150 probably wouldnt have been beat on as bad as a Mustang transmission would be!

BUT the price was right. It was FREE! Yep that's a really good price and it comes with the transmission mount, crossmember, shiftercable, shifter and any other associated hardware.  Additionally if I need or choose to rob some of the donors firewall or tunnel I can. 

How'd this come about. My friend needed the Coyote motor and bought the wrecked Mustang for just that and I get the spoils!

I've also made arrangements to get a 6R80 case to check for tunnel clearance and crossmember, mount and shifter fabrication. And so it begins.

I'll update soon!


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Welcome to the VMF.  Sounds like an interesting build, looking forward to seeing it progress.  Speaking about suspensions have you looked at the coilover kit from Street or Track?  Shaun's a great guy to deal with and is very knowledgeable.  Brakes are also something he offers.  On the subject of brakes have you considered a hydraboost setup?  315/35/17's can fit on the rear of a leaf spring 69/70 car.  But you have to be selective on the brand of 315's.  

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Welcome and good luck.  Looks like lots of new sheet metal to come - but great to see you haven’t given up on it.

Thats going to be a handful to drive at the limits - that much cubes will be 600+hp easy and that’s a lot in an unsophisticated chassis - these days 408’s are making 500hp with roller cams in streetable packages so you are going to kill that.


I look forward to seeing the 6r80 go in.  Thats going to be a nice choice.

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8 hours ago, Grabber70Mach said:

....have you looked at the coilover kit from Street or Track? ....On the subject of brakes have you considered a hydraboost setup? .... 315/35/17's can fit on the rear of a leaf spring 69/70 car.  But you have to be selective on the brand of 315's.  

I did look at Street or Track and several others before deciding that the Total Control Products front coil over conversion best fit my needs.

I also considered the hydro boost and have not eliminated it. I'm hoping that my stock booster and master cylinder will work. Wilwood tech people said it would IF I could supply vacuum. 

What brand(s) of 315's will work? Do you know if 315/35/18 will fit?

3 hours ago, Hux said:

Welcome and good luck.  Looks like lots of new sheet metal to come - but great to see you haven’t given up on it.....

I look forward to seeing the 6r80 go in.  Thats going to be a nice choice.

Sheetmetal! The only thing I'm scared of! And you're right I do need a bunch of it. The car is like part of the family so I cant give up on it!

The 6R80 should be a game changer on FE's in Mustang's. Really hoping it will tame the beast and allow interstate driving to get to shows and cruise ins.

2 hours ago, mustangstofear said:

If you're going with a  Coyote,  we make everything you need for the swap.  No modifications to the firewall or tunnel with our IFS. Check out our website mustangstofear.com. 

Thanks but I'm sticking with the FE 428CJ architecture although it will be a 427 sideoiler bored and stroked. Trying to make the restomodded part fairly innocuous!

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