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logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/26/21 3:40 p.m.

Between the 82 Econoline, the 79 CJ5, and the Champcar, the last thing Mrs Logdog and I needed was to bring another project home. 

So what did we do?  We went down to the DC suburbs and bought the 1976 Mustang II Brake_L8 posted last week.  We didn't even KNOW we wanted a Mustang II until we saw the ad.   It quickly earned the nickname Baby Blue.   Its 1 better than a regular Mustang, how could we NOT buy it?

It was every bit as good as it looked in the pictures so we loaded up and left sunny Virginia-

 

and 4.5 hours later we were back in the Pennsylvania winter wasteland-

 

Unfortunately my wife lost her garage spot, but we got it unloaded and stashed inside.

 

So far the reactions from people have fallen into 2 categories.  "What is wrong with you?" and "That's Awesome!!!"  

Its a 2.3 liter (Google tells me factory rated at 88 Horsepower) automatic.  So I *SHOULD* be able to handle it when leaving Cars & Coffee and not take out any crowds.  We currently have no intentions of upgrading anything.  The plan is to keep it the time capsule it is.  Which is hard because its a Mustang and its a law you remove the stock exhaust and put on a "BorlaMaster Noise X-Treme Beast All Smoke/No Fire" systemlaugh

I want to drain the gas tank and check it for rust, replace fluids, belts /hoses/filters, rebuild the carb, inspect the brakes, and anything else that pops up.  Im keeping the 13 inch wheels and will replace the tires with some fresher ones (these are pre-date codes).  I also want to give it a deep cleaning, inside and out so if anybody has recommendations for vinyl cleaners and conditioners, I'm all ears.  The front air dam has clearly been run into a few curbs over the years,  its taped together and in the trunk.  I will see if I can repair it but they do appear to be available aftermarket.  

Obviously I will be replacing all my T-shirts with ones that have Mustangs with eagles and flags on them, I will be revving the engine at any Camaro I see, and will get one of those Calvin peeing on a Bowtie stickers.  I will also only refer to it as "My 'stang" when I am slamming White Claws in the Sheetz parking lot on Saturday night. laugh

It will take a backseat as I wrap up the bodywork on the van, but the goal is to have it ready for the Rust Belt Ramble Lemons Rally in late July.

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
1/26/21 3:47 p.m.

Nice. You could do a 2.3 Turbo "fairly" easily. The auto might cry a little though. It would still sound like a carb'd na 2.3. It wouldn't even a bov since it's auto. 

Jeffs_ZX5
Jeffs_ZX5 None
1/26/21 4:02 p.m.

My first car was a 1975 Ford Mustang Ghia with a 4 speed V6.

Who cares what others think. Have fun with it!  LOL

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/26/21 4:10 p.m.

Even though I won't drive mustangs because of a reoccurring dream, I consider mustang 2s to be far enough away from a real mustang to own one.

 

I almost bought a 2.8l one awhile back and sort of regret not doing so

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/26/21 4:14 p.m.

Also if that's the same 4cyl in Fairmonts.......that was the slowest car I'd ever driven, I've ridden bikes that accelerated faster and we aren't talking motorcycles.

 

I'd probably want to get a little more power somehow

Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter)
Adrian_Thompson (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/21 4:14 p.m.

Saw the for sale thread. Can't wait. Subbed. 

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
1/26/21 4:20 p.m.

A Calvin sticker wouldn't be period correct, though. You need to go with a Keep On Truckin' bumper sticker instead.

Oddly, Daily Turismo posted a baby blue '77 Mustang at about this time that takes a bit of an opposite approach. More of a "day 2" car and a time capsule modified example.

mdshaw
mdshaw Reader
1/26/21 4:36 p.m.

A friend in high school had a Mustang II Cobra. The fastback look was cool but with the 302 in there it was scary, not scary fast just scary. The handling, the vibrations, the poor build quality. Not Ford's better times. Seemed fast just because it was fairly small, noisy & well...scary. 

11GTCS
11GTCS HalfDork
1/26/21 5:16 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

A Calvin sticker wouldn't be period correct, though. You need to go with a Keep On Truckin' bumper sticker instead.

Oddly, Daily Turismo posted a baby blue '77 Mustang at about this time that takes a bit of an opposite approach. More of a "day 2" car and a time capsule modified example.

Once again in the “it’s a small world” department.... So that “day two” Mustang II Matt noted above is 15 minutes from me based on the CL ad linked in the article.    It’s really nice for what it is, I think Logdog got the better deal though.  

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/26/21 7:26 p.m.
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

Also if that's the same 4cyl in Fairmonts.......that was the slowest car I'd ever driven, I've ridden bikes that accelerated faster and we aren't talking motorcycles.

 

I'd probably want to get a little more power somehow

It will be interesting to see how it compares to some of the other rockets Ive owned like a Dodge Aires, Plymouth Colt, Civic CX, 4 cylinder Jeep YJ, and of course the 82 Econoline with its whopping 110 horsepower and awful gearing.  Now that I type some of this out, I think I need a Hellcat midlife crisis.laugh

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/26/21 7:28 p.m.
MadScientistMatt said:

A Calvin sticker wouldn't be period correct, though. You need to go with a Keep On Truckin' bumper sticker instead.

Oddly, Daily Turismo posted a baby blue '77 Mustang at about this time that takes a bit of an opposite approach. More of a "day 2" car and a time capsule modified example.

Period correct you say.....

 

logdog (Forum Supporter)
logdog (Forum Supporter) UberDork
1/26/21 7:30 p.m.

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
1/26/21 7:43 p.m.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltraDork
1/26/21 7:46 p.m.

Ford mustang Jokes

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/26/21 7:52 p.m.
logdog (Forum Supporter) said:
Antihero (Forum Supporter) said:

Also if that's the same 4cyl in Fairmonts.......that was the slowest car I'd ever driven, I've ridden bikes that accelerated faster and we aren't talking motorcycles.

 

I'd probably want to get a little more power somehow

It will be interesting to see how it compares to some of the other rockets Ive owned like a Dodge Aires, Plymouth Colt, Civic CX, 4 cylinder Jeep YJ, and of course the 82 Econoline with its whopping 110 horsepower and awful gearing.  Now that I type some of this out, I think I need a Hellcat midlife crisis.laugh

It was about a third as fast as our i6 Econoline.

 

Like...I would bought it but I wasn't sure it would hold highway speeds

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
1/26/21 8:00 p.m.

Seems a likely candidate for a repro Carter/Mondale sticker 

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
1/26/21 8:04 p.m.

Also I forgot to mention that the slow Fairmont was a manual so an auto has to be even worse

CLynn85
CLynn85 HalfDork
1/26/21 8:20 p.m.

OMG how did I miss that post??? That was right near me too! Well, probably better off this way. Looking forward to progress updates.

dropstep
dropstep UberDork
1/26/21 8:26 p.m.

Don't try to merge on a highway and your fine! I thought the I6 that came in my zephyr wagon was slow until I rode in a 2.3 powered sedan. As much as you want to keep it original the circle track guys have made an impressive aftermarket for the 2.3 even in NA trim. If the plan is cruise around town then enjoy it!

ddavidv
ddavidv PowerDork
1/27/21 6:24 a.m.

You have the correct attitude to own a M II. laugh Loved your post. That car deserves far more respect than it generally gets, though the tide (and value) seem to be changing. I'd get some period correct mag wheels and some white letter tires for it. There are probably some non-intrusive tuning tricks you can do to the 2.3 to make it sing a bit better. I suspect the cam timing is probably very conservative to pass emissions.

noddaz
noddaz UltraDork
1/27/21 7:19 a.m.

Funny coincidence.  I have been looking at Mustang II lift backs (?) lately.  Not many left.

I have thought that the styling was pretty nice with the exception of the battering ram bumpers.

When I think of Mustang II, I tend to think of this:

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
1/27/21 7:39 a.m.
logdog (Forum Supporter) said:

 Its 1 better than a regular Mustang

This gave me my first laugh of the day, thanks. Glad we get to see this thing come back to life.

Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter)
Brake_L8 (Forum Supporter) Reader
1/27/21 9:21 a.m.

Excited to see what y'all do with this lil' guy! It seems to be a really solid example of a slow-AF "sports car" and I find the whole thing very fascinating. Wild to see how far we've come (with Mustangs and in general, automotively) since this.

jimbbski
jimbbski SuperDork
1/27/21 10:38 a.m.

If you want to keep it "stock" you can upgrade the 2.3L using parts from later versions.

The Ford Ranger is one place to look.

Stay away from the 8 plug head however.

The later 4 plug head that has better ports and a roller camshaft will up the power some and you may be able to use one of the factory exhaust manifolds that resembled a shorty header.  One was cast iron and one was SS. Both work better than the stock log manifold you have now.

Last thing to do is to mill the head before installing it.

At least 0.060" will do fine. With a Ranger roller cam your stock engine will at least rev past 5K with some poke.

bigbrainonbrad
bigbrainonbrad Reader
1/27/21 10:47 a.m.

Bummer that it is an automatic. Some period correct mods and upgrading it to a Weber would be a hoot!

Casually looked at a baby blue, hatchback 2.8, 4 speed a while back. Kind of wish I had bought it, but the guy wouldn't budge on $3500. At that price I can get into a much newer, V8 car.

An old roommate of mine had a coupe with the 2.3, 4 speed. It was a fun car despite the overall "crappiness" of it.

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