Those of us who grew up with classic Mustangs remember them when they weren't collectibles. They were just new Mustangs that quickly became the old Mustangs we snapped up for a couple hundred bucks in the newspaper classifieds. We didn't consider them classics, at least not in the '70s when they were scarcely ten years old. For many of us, Mustangs are like marriage: We take the good with the bad. We're passionate about our Mustangs, but we dread having to deal with the "finer" points of owning them.
The restomod movement has made great contributions to classic Mustangs because it provides improved technology to make our vintage Mustangs safer, more comfortable, and great fun to drive. Many restomod components, like four-wheel disc brakes and brighter LED lighting, make our Mustangs safer and more reliable on the highway.
In this Street Survival Guide, we're aiming to help you enjoy your Mustang on the street.
Front disc brakes are mandatory to shorten stopping distances. If you want to keep your Mustang period-correct in appearance, look to Stainless Steel Brakes for dead-stock, four-piston front disc brakes that won't detract from a factory appearance. Those with six-cylinder Mustangs don't have to do without disc brakes because SSBC has front disc-brake conversion kits for six-poppers as well.
Another terrific idea for six-cylinder Mustangs is upgrading to five-lug wheels and heavy-duty spindles in the interest of safety. Cop a pair of spindles from a '70-'73 Mustang, '70-'77 Maverick or Comet, or '75-'80 Granada or Monarch. Six-cylinder front spindles are weak by nature and can break, especially in hard cornering.
With the five-lug front underpinnings comes the need for an 8-inch rearend and larger rear drum brakes in back to improve safety and reliability. To keep a 711/44-inch integral-carrier rearend, have the axle flanges drilled by a machine shop for a five-lug bolt pattern.
When original front disc brakes aren't enough, there are lots of aftermarket braking systems to choose from. In the interest of sanity, opt for a bolt-on aftermarket system. SSBC's Force 10 system is a good example, as are most of the systems from Baer Brakes. Master Power also has easy-to-install disc-brake conversion kits that get the job done without other modifications.
Convert your '65-'66 Mustang to a dual braking system in the interest of safety. Dual braking systems became federally mandated in 1967. A dual braking system isolates front and rear brake hydraulic systems to ensure braking should one of the systems fail.
SSBC's Force 10 disc brakes...
SSBC's Force 10 disc brakes are a nice upgrade for improved stopping power and great looks through the spokes. Fit them on the front, or install them in all four corners.
This is a dual-reservoir master...
This is a dual-reservoir master cylinder for dual braking systems. It isolates front- and rear-brake hydraulic systems to keep your brakes operational should one fail. Unless you are building a concours-original '65-'66 Mustang, install a dual-braking system.
If you drive a six-cylinder...
If you drive a six-cylinder Mustang, then think about V-8 spindles and a five-bolt lug pattern for added safety. Six-cylinder spindles are wimpy and tend to break, especially after 40 years of use. Five-lug patterns open up your wheel options, too. Have a machine shop drill those 711/44 shafts for five-lug or replace them with an 8-inch removable carrier axle.