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Classic Mustangs (Tech) Technical discussions about the Mustangs of yester-year.

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Old 10-31-2010, 01:42 AM   #1
Tylus
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Default 1968 Cougar to 1968 Mustang Conversion...can it be done?

I know pretty much diddly about the pre 1996 Mustangs. A guy locally has a 1968 Cougar for sale @ $1,500. Car is straight with almost no rust and 1 bad spot on a fender. So easy to fix-her-up IMO. I'll be sure to check the rain gutters and trunk and floorboards of course.

I have a 2009 Bullitt that I'd like to have a matching 1968 version of. I know the Cougar isn't a Fastback...but it would be close enough for me to be happy. That, and I never knew the Cougars were so pretty when done up right.

Anyhoo, I've searched the forums and didn't find an answer. The Cougar has a 289 & some auto in it currently. My ultimate plan would be to throw a 5.4 3v in there from a 04+ F-150 and a 5/6 speed from a 05+ Mustang for the drivetrain.


sorry for the long post. the powertrain stuff swaps, but do the body panels line up? Anybody got a interchangeability list around?
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:55 AM   #2
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Putting a 5.4 in a cougar would be a ton of money and custom work for an engine that doesn't even make good power.

A 347 would make more power than that and be lighter and not require any work. Or a 351 even.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:10 AM   #3
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To turn a cougar in to a mustang is like buying a 747 for free peanuts.Pretty much all the sheet metal on the cougar is different then a mustang the doors are the only parts even close.If you want a real bullit get a 68 fastback and throw a 390 in it or bigger.I would never use a mod motor after being a ford tech they are a pain to work on.To use one takes a big notching of the shock towers or welding in a mustang 2 kit.And most stroker small blocks will walk on it and bolt right in.
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Old 10-31-2010, 02:51 AM   #4
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figured as much about the sheet metal...but it never hurts to ask.

as for the mod motors, I'm on my 4th one and fell in love with them. You can get alot of performance out of a 5.4 3v for relatively cheap...and I absolutely hate carbs. My ultimate goal would be 300-350 RWHP. Which is pretty easily attainable. I've come across several complete turn key setups (motor + harness) for $2-3,000 lately. The 5.4 3v is mainly a goal for the TQ. I'm more of a TQ fan than HP fan. they put out 365 crank TQ stock...and can easily break 400+ TQ with just a CAI and good tuning.

the 4.6 3v has a slightly narrower deck...would that fit? Some of these era cars had 390's and 427's in them didn't they? I know the mod motors are wide...but more so than a big block? wow
Just guestimating, I figure about $5,000 to do a motor/trans swap. I'm pretty resourcefull when it comes to getting stuff at a good price. That is the only reason I have my Bullitt

And the benefit of a late model motor is the reliability of them. The days of having a car that I can't trust to run every time I want it to are long over. I've had way too many 60's and 70's vehicles in the past to ever want that fun again. Or having to go in and adjust the fuel mixture depending on the temperature/humidity...bleh
again, I know next to nothing about the early Stangs. I'm just looking for something to build up over a few years. I'd love a true Fastback/390 combo...but I refuse to pay that kind of cash.
my boy is only 6 months...so that would be another cool aspect. I rebuilt a 1971 C-10 pickup and a 1977 El Camino SS with my dad when I was 16. Had a ton of fun
The Cougar is pretty much what I've been after. Something in okay shape, for a good price that will still meet my "Muscle" needs. Paint her a nice black/dark green, lower the stance a tiny bit with some wide rubber and a nice sounding exhaust...yeah, I could go for that. I spent 1-2 hours looking around at the Cougars from that era and they are extremely easy modify for that Muscle look.
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Old 10-31-2010, 05:54 AM   #5
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The heads on the mod motor are wide and tall a sohc 4.6 is over a inch wider then a 460.Using a mustang 2 will make the car handle and ride worse.I can get 350hp out of a 5.0 with bolt ons and cheaper.I don't own anything fuel injected both my mustang and tucks start the first time.A carb is reliable just takes a good carb and tuned right.I use to be a ford tech i seen the ugly side to mod motors the spark plugs blowing out blowby plastic intakes leaking and cracking.The egr system holds moisture and will act up.The biggest pain is pulling the engine to pull a head.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:21 AM   #6
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I can not even see why someone would convert a Cougar into a Mustang. The Cougars are much more rare. While I am a Mustang fanatic, I would not butcher a Cougar. I like them just as much. Cougars look bad *** with their hidden headlights and the long sequential tail lights.

I also vote for a modified 302-351 for the classic Mustang. You can run a stroked motor and it will be a much easier fit and will make plenty of power. Only pushrod motors in classics please.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:22 AM   #7
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all valid points for the mod motors...well the older 2v varieties. Ford finally got them mostly ironed out with the 3v head designs. No more ejections luckily. I think you got tainted by the 90's and early 2000's 2v mod motors. The 04/05+ stuff is really pretty good. Virtually no problems to be heard of other than the plugs getting stuck occasionally.

so wider than a 460...damn. guess I could pull a early 90's Mustang with the MAF fuel injection and run a 302 or stroker. I wouldn't bother with suspension stuff other than drop springs and new leafs or convert to a 3 link like my current Mustang is.

I'm going to make the guy an offer. He has had the car listed for over a month. I'm in no hurry, so we'll see.



appreciate the input. if y'all know any other little tidbits of what is or is not interchangeable for the 2 cars I'd love to hear them.
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Old 10-31-2010, 06:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx65coupe View Post
Only pushrod motors in classics please.
sorry guys, I'm a fan of new technology. the old school stuff was fun when I was a teenager, but it got downright old quick once I began playing with EFI.

these old cars are classics in a sense...but I just want a nice car that I personally like. I'm not welcome over on IMBOC.com because of this view...and what I've done to my Bullitt.

Coming into this, I was under the assumption that a Cougar and the Mustang were the same car with different badgeing and bumpers...wasn't aware they were different enough that the sheetmetal itself wouldn't interchange.

With the motor, I guess I'm not articulating my intentions well enough. I don't want a street dominating monster. That is my Bullitt. I just want a "looker" with a little bit of a bite under the hood. one that I can spend a little time setting up upfront, and then never have to touch again. That, and carbs & I have never gotten along. 9/10 times when I've had an issue with a motor, the damn carb was the culprit. Carter/Edelbrock/Holly(POS Doublepumpers), you name it, they've all caused me too many problems.


It does suck that the engine bay is too small for a mod motor. But as pointed out, a 302 or 351 would ultimately be cheaper/easier to slap in there.

I need to quit counting eggs though. Starting to get my hopes up about getting another toy...going to be pissed if the seller and I can't work a deal
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:45 AM   #9
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You would have a hell of a time time with that 5.4. Not only is it wider but taller. Get a 5.0L and the EFI harness and parts out of a low millage downer. It will last you as long as a mod motor will and you can get good power without losing reliability.
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:53 AM   #10
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sorry guys, I'm a fan of new technology. the old school stuff was fun when I was a teenager, but it got downright old quick once I began playing with EFI.
Obviously you haven't tangled with a Ford Racing 351-based 427, hydraulic-cammed street-driveable 535hp. Bolts into a Cougar with room to spare, using stock 69-70 stuff.

Buddy of mine has a speed shop with in-floor chassis dyno. Loves EFI. Admits, though, he can swap these cars to carburetor and get a little more 'edge'.


these old cars are classics in a sense...but I just want a nice car that I personally like. I'm not welcome over on IMBOC.com because of this view...and what I've done to my Bullitt.
You'll be OK here, unless you start using Chevy parts.
The "some auto" in that car will be the C4, and excellent trans with amazing potential. And converting a 68 Cougar to a 5-speed T5 is a one-day (or easy weekend) project, with almost entirely stock components.


Coming into this, I was under the assumption that a Cougar and the Mustang were the same car with different badgeing and bumpers...wasn't aware they were different enough that the sheetmetal itself wouldn't interchange.
Not even close, no exterior sheetmetal, and probably less that 15% of the structural sheetmetal. Even the rear springs and frame rails are different.

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

With the motor, I guess I'm not articulating my intentions well enough. I don't want a street dominating monster. That is my Bullitt. I just want a "looker" with a little bit of a bite under the hood. one that I can spend a little time setting up upfront, and then never have to touch again. That, and carbs & I have never gotten along. 9/10 times when I've had an issue with a motor, the damn carb was the culprit. Carter/Edelbrock/Holly(POS Doublepumpers), you name it, they've all caused me too many problems.
The Autolite 4100 is reliable as an anvil, and has about 5 moving parts. If you can't keep one of them working, sell your tools. Only downside is the big one is 600 cfm.

It does suck that the engine bay is too small for a mod motor. But as pointed out, a 302 or 351 would ultimately be cheaper/easier to slap in there.
Depends. Dynacorn has 67-70 shock towers that are made to clear wide engines, and still retain the attaching points for the export brace, so the car isn't weakened. Should fit a mod motor. You'd have to change to Mustang II or coilover strut suspension, of course.

Even the little 289 can bite- This is a 289:

Click the image to open in full size.

Last edited by 2+2GT; 10-31-2010 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 10-31-2010, 07:53 AM
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