HomeProjectsCar ProjectsNew 351Project: Two-Barrel Terror

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Project

Two-Barrel Terror

Table of Contents

Introduction

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The two-barrel carburetor has never been a performance option — and for good reason — until you realize what a 351W in a '66 Mustang does.

So, what does a 351W in a '66 Mustang do, exactly? Well, the early first gen Mustangs are extremely light weight, so, think 454 in a '70 Chevelle. Okay, got it? All right, now realize that a 351W in a '66 Mustang is an even more over-the-top combination.

Even though it's missing a couple of barrels, it drives like a real brute and it's awesome!

Now, you're probably wondering, why not a better build for the New 351 with a suped-up Windsor? My first car, the Original 351, had a two-barrel 351W in it, and Project: Two-Barrel Terror is intended to re-create that car — but with a manual transmission.

Background

Let me start out by letting you in on an important fact: This project has a more storied and convoluted past than Project: Special K.

Its story goes all the way back to the beginning of my car fetish — I mean fascination — to the Original 351.

In May or so of 1995 I was driving the Original 351 through town when the car started having transmission troubles and came to an abrupt halt. After having it towed home, I consulted with my automotive mentor, Jack, who helped me diagnose the problem: the C4 automatic transmission's front pump had seized.

That would ultimately be the end of the Original 351. To my life-long chagrin, I eventually sold it so I could have another '66, this time in better shape and with a manual transmission. That '66, dubbed the Turquoise Mustang, lasted all of a few months before someone turned left in front of me and it was totaled; the front sub-frame buckled into the floor pan.

Not long after the demise of the Turquoise Mustang, I purchased the 347, in its bone-stock, but high mileage, original-to-me condition. I drove that car as my daily driver until after I was out of college. During that time, I came across the '66 GT and bought it so that I could have a classic again. The problem was, as I've mentioned in its gallery caption, it wasn't like my first car and I'm not a big fan of '66 GT coupes. Eventually I traded it for the New 351. I drove it off and on until the clutch squealed like a stuck pig and the engine blew an already leaking head gasket.

After sitting for more than a decade, it's time to put it back on the road, this time, healthy, with its namesake, a 351W stuffed in it. It's long since past time for me to get back to my automotive roots — a place I've longed to be since the Original 351 went down nearly 25 years ago.

Description

The New 351 needs a complete restoration.

We're talking body panel replacement, body straightening, paint job, glass, the entire powertrain, the whole chassis, the interior — you can probably name it and it'll need some work.

It also currently houses a sad California 289, a 3-speed manual, and has no radio.

Although not even remotely near as bad as something you'd find sitting derelict in a field, this car still needs lots of attention to be like new, and like new is how I want it.

It's how I always wanted the Original 351 and never had it, so Project: Two-Barrel Terror will get the New 351 there, finally.

I've been vacillating on what to do with this project for years now. I've considered numerous options, but the two I've come down to is to put the car back on the road with the 289 to test and play with briefly before dropping the 351W in it (for comparison), or to simply go straight for the Windsor.

As I'm not getting any younger, I'm going straight for the Windsor with the 289 an optional back-up should there be some complication(s).

To sum it up, the car is all together, by no means a basket case, but it needs everything restored — or outright replaced.

Reasons

I want it back on the road.

It's a refrain in every project I've written up for my non-running cars.

Beyond my desire to have it running again, Project: Two-Barrel Terror has a number of personally significant reasons to complete it. In fact, besides those related to my Mom's Mustang and my Grandpa's El Camino, this project may be the most significant for me.

Here we go:

  • This is a 1966 Ford Mustang. Granted there were a lot of them made, but as a first generation Mustang, the car is historically significant and their numbers are dwindling.
  • This car, although in need of numerous repairs, has already seen at least one mediocre attempt at a restoration, but it's all there and mostly original.
  • I want to drive this car again. I want to drive it with a 351W. I want to experience my first car again — or as close as possible — this time, with a manual transmission.
  • I want to finally have my first car in an idealized, like-new state. That is what I've wanted since I first bought the Original 351.
  • This car went down on my watch, and like the others, since I failed to save the Original 351, abandoning this one isn't something I particularly relish. ESPECIALLY since this car is literally the replacement for that car.

Finally, like the others, I worked hard to keep the New 351 through some very challenging times and I'll be damned if I'll get rid of it or fail now. That may just be the absolute worst reward I could possibly receive for my efforts.

Goals

Another constant refrain in this first round of projects is that I want them back in a like-new condition. No change here. However, there are other criteria for this one, because in order to have the New 351 emulate my first car, it has to be modified.

Here are the goals for Project: Two-Barrel Terror:

  • Completely restored. Stem to stern. That includes all components, sheet metal, and paint.
  • Replace the horrid 289 with a completely rebuilt — balanced and blueprinted — factory '69-'74 351W w/a two-barrel carb and a 289 3-bolt harmonic balancer — possibly a Hi-Po balancer. I'll also be going with a Pertronix Ignitor in the factory distributor. I just like the ease of electronic ignitions — and more importantly, dislike having to deal with the issues associated with points.
  • Replace the single exhaust with a dual 2" featuring standard baffled mufflers — or possibly DynoMax Super Turbo mufflers. Why a 2" system? That's what was on the Original 351, but this time it'll have an H-pipe. If I can find someone to build a mandrel bent version, I probably won't say no.
  • Use an original air cleaner, valve covers, 2-bbl exhaust manifolds, accessories, etc from a '66 289 to keep it looking stock — in the spirit of the Original 351.
  • I may opt to dyno-tune everything in. I already have what I need to tune the original Autolite/Motorcraft carb and the factory distributor — so it seems kinda foolish not to. This is definitely something the Original 351 didn't have and would have benefitted from.
  • Replace the original 3-speed manual with a Ford Toploader 4-speed — wide ratio.
  • Replace the stock steel wheels with 14"x6" Cragar S/S Mags. The wheels on the Original 351 were American Racing S/S knock-offs, and the originals are the closest I can get. Yes, 14"x6" were the original size of those wheels.
  • 205/70R14s all the way around. If I can find Michelins, I'll be using them (they are my favorite tire), if not I'll probably fall back to BFG Radial T/As. The Original 351 had 195s in front and 205s outback, but I'll be going 205s all the way around this time for the very slight improvement in handling, braking, etc they will provide. Plus, they're easier to rotate that way. And trust me, frequent rotations will be required — this thing eats tires even if I'm behaving myself.
  • Raven Black paint. I've thought long and hard about this. The Original 351 came from the factory with Vintage Burgundy and was repainted at some point in a darker shade, but I always wanted black, so black it shall be.

To recap, my goal is to emulate the Original 351, but in like-new condition, with some minor variations to improve many of the flaws in the original. That said, I'm shooting for a like-new driver, not concours show car, so it'll probably be missing chalk marks and some superfluous labels. It will also likely see quality stock replacement parts in some places over factory-correct recreations and NOS parts where I deem appropriate.

Scope

The scope of Project: Two-Barrel Terror includes any and all resources necessary to bring it back to a like-new condition.

In the case of the New 351, that means both an extensive restoration and the mods needed to toss a 351W between the shock towers. You can refer to the goals section for the specific list of mods planned for this project.

Timeframe

This is the fourth project I have planned, and up to this point, the most ambitious. That means more time, more effort, and the more exacting results. In order to do all that, I'm giving myself two years to complete Project: Two-Barrel Terror.

Maybe not so obvious from my level of involvement with Classics and Performance is that I have a whole life to live, which includes a business to run and numerous social activities, which means there is no way in hell I can work on the New 351 eight hours a day, five-seven days a week. Instead, I'll be limited to two days a week, and like with the other three projects I've written up, that will mean about five working hours a day. Also, I'll be lucky if I can manage to work 36 weeks a year. That means I'm budgeting 720 hours of personal time for the project, but I'm expecting to have to use contractors to handle the most time-intensive aspects of the build such as engine rebuilding and body and paint work — which I'm not including in my personal work time.

All that provides the framework for the time table, below:

Per: Day Week Year Totals
Hours 5 10 360 720
Days 2 72 144
Weeks 36 72
Years 1

Budget

I'm setting aside $40,000 for this project.

Let me rephrase that: I'm setting aside an imaginary $40,000 for this project. I don't have any money, so I can't very well set it aside.

Why so much? Why such an unrealistic price tag? How much money do I think I'll have to waste on it? Am I just a walking sack of money? God, no. I'm probably considerably poorer than you at this point.

Here's the brutally honest truth: In my experience, when many enthusiasts think about how much it costs to do a project — much less one as intensive as a restoration — they don't put a realistic price tag on every single nut, bolt, body panel, engine part, and drop of paint going on the car. Hell, they don't even think about all those parts, materials, and supplies they put in the car. Nor do they tally it all up when it's done so they don't really know that the $500 project they just finished actually cost them $2,000 — all they know is that their wallet is a lot lighter or that their credit cards sure seem to suck a lot more out of their monthly income than they did before.

In contrast, I have tracked all those little details in the past, and those details get pretty pricey. I know they'll be even pricier for this build. And this car is worth every penny of the projected budget to me — provided I can scrape all the pennies together.

Although there is no money available now, and I haven't created a detailed project plan to be able to track the cost by restoration areas or types of work, I have broken down the project based on the time table above and the projected budget, here:

Week: 1 2 3
Initial Financing $22,000 $0 $0
Scheduled Financing $250 $250 $250
Scheduled Cost -$555 -$555 -$555
TOTAL $21,695 $21,390 $21,085
4 5 6 7 8
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$20,780 $20,475 $20,170 $19,865 $19,560
9 10 11 12 13
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$19,255 $18,950 $18,645 $18,340 $18,035
14 15 16 17 18
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$17,730 $17,425 $17,120 $16,815 $16,510
19 20 21 22 23
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$16,205 $15,900 $15,595 $15,290 $14,985
24 25 26 27 28
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$14,680 $14,375 $14,070 $13,765 $13,460
29 30 31 32 33
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$13,155 $12,850 $12,545 $12,240 $11,935
34 35 36 37 38
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$11,630 $11,325 $11,020 $10,715 $10,410
39 40 41 42 43
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$10,105 $9,800 $9,495 $9,190 $8,885
44 45 46 47 48
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$8,580 $8,275 $7,970 $7,665 $7,360
49 50 51 52 53
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$7,055 $6,750 $6,445 $6,140 $5,835
54 55 56 57 58
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$5,530 $5,225 $4,920 $4,615 $4,310
59 60 61 62 63
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$4,005 $3,700 $3,395 $3,090 $2,785
64 65 66 67 68
$0 $0 $0 $0 $0
$250 $250 $250 $250 $250
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$555
$2,480 $2,175 $1,870 $1,565 $1,260
69 70 71 72 Totals
$0 $0 $0 $0 $22,000
$250 $250 $250 $250 $18,000
-$555 -$555 -$555 -$555 -$39,960
$955 $650 $345 $40

Location

The location for this project should be the Service Garage.

I say "should" because, as you've probably already read elsewhere, I have yet to build the Service Garage. That happens in a different project, Space Maker.

That's right, not only do I not have the funds for this project, I don't even have the building to do the work in. And guess what — I don't have the funds for that either. To rub a little extra salt and lemon juice in the wound, I also lack the land to put the building on. And, no, I don't have the funds for that, either.

By now, I figure you've already come to realize just how far away this project is from starting, much less being completed. I don't even really know where it will happen — but it should happen in the Service Garage sometime in the future. Like when cars fly.

Work Requirements

I've broken down the type of work required by vehicle system as follows:

Body

  • Glass removal and installation
  • Rust removal
  • Body panel replacement
  • Body panel adjustment
  • Primer and paint
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Interior

  • Rust removal
  • Sound deadener replacement
  • Upholstery removal and installation
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Powertrain

  • Rust removal
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Drivability adjustments
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Chassis

  • Rust removal
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Drivability adjustments
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Electrical

  • Rust removal
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Drivability adjustments
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Trim

  • Rust removal
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Straightening
  • Polishing
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Hardware

  • Rust removal
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Sealing

  • Rust removal
  • Mechanical part replacement
  • Material reconditioning
  • Primer and paint
  • Plating
  • Powder coating

Schedule

This is a complete restoration, as such, everything will be torn apart, rebuilt, restored, and re-assembled. With that in mind I've broken down the major project milestones as a complete tear down. These are only preliminary and will likely change during the planning phase.

Assessment, Feasibility and Go/No Go

Assessing this project should be fairly simple. The car is all together and I'm already familiar with most if not all of its issues. That means I'll use the assessment just to reacquaint myself with all of the idiosyncrasies of this car for Project: Two-Barrel Terror — since I haven't gone over it in a few years.

I'm pretty certain I already know how feasible this project is, so it all depends on when the resources are available.

As for the go ahead for the project launch, as of right now, I can't give it; there's no funding for it or anything related to it.

Planning

The detailed plan for this project begins when I've got the necessary resources in place to get it done. As a part of the planning process, I'll find the needed contractors and organize the few parts I purchased years ago for the installation of a 351W.

Disassembly

This is where the fun begins. The disassembly phase marks the start of the principle project work.

During disassembly I will tear every single part out of the car and get the body on a body dolly or rotisserie. She's going all the way down — there won't be anything untouched on her.

Thankfully, the '66 Mustang is an incredibly simple car, so blowing it apart should be pretty straightforward.

Parts Repair and Replacement

During this phase, I'll be assessing all the components I pulled off the car and making decisions about which ones I'm rebuilding and restoring and which I'm replacing. I don't foresee using any "good" used parts for this project. This is an all-new or rebuilt venture.

I'm really pleased this car doesn't have the rust problem of the Survivor, because rust removal should be greatly simplified for this project, which means, for the most part I'm going to be concerned about mechanical parts repair, refinishing, and finding replacements.

Body Repair

Although the rust repair I will have just gone through prior to this project in Project: Car Cancer for the Survivor is extensive, the body repair for this project, overall, is far more involved.

For this project, I'll need to replace the trunk floor, straighten the driver side quarter and figure out why the hood is popping up in the back at the cowl — oh, and lest I forget, I'll need to replace the package tray. No, not the fiberboard panel, the structural metal piece underneath. Yeah, a previous owner got WAAAY to enterprising with a hammer on that bad boy and ruined the speaker openings. In order to have a nice sound system, the old package tray has to go. Plus, I don't like damaged parts on my cars — even if I can't see them.

Otherwise, this body is really solid: the floor pans, shock towers, and all.

Should I need to engage a body shop to do some or all of the work — which is the likely scenario — I may be doing the parts repair and replacement phase while the body repair phase is being handled for me.

Ultimately, that's a time saver, but I'd really like to be able to do the body work on this one myself — even if it means taking longer.

Body Primer and Paint

This phase and the last phase will likely roll into one, simply because it's probably going to be handled by a body shop, but it's still major enough for me to consider it by itself — especially if I'm able to do it by myself.

Regardless, I'm targeting a gorgeous Raven Black, maybe even a clearcoat to give it some depth. We'll see.

Assembly

Assembly should just be the reverse of disassembly — by in large. I know enough about the construction of these cars to know there are some variations between the two procedures, but they are relatively minor.

The body and paint work will be done by this point, so the process should roughly follow the list below:

  • Final installation and adjustment of body panels, glass, trim, and related components.
  • Electrical system installation — minus components related to other assembly procedures later in the process.
  • Interior installation including heater system.
  • Powertrain and chassis installation — this car will be completely apart, which means these two groups will be easier to put in together much like they were at the factory as complex sub-assemblies.

Adjustment and Quality Control

With the car fully assembled, it's time for the final adjustments like engine timing and idle.

It will also be time for suspension adjustments as well as engine performance tuning — if I opt to go that route. Both of these are within my skill set — and I would prefer to do myself as these make or break the driving experience — but I will probably have to bring them into a shop with the appropriate equipment such as alignment rack and chassis dyno. That would obviously require a great deal of investment in order to purchase that equipment myself, which other than in a world in which I'm raking in the cash, it's well outside of my ability to achieve.

Once the adjustments are complete, I'll run it through a final quality control check and hopefully find no problems that require re-work.

Delivery

In the delivery phase, I'll put the car in rotation with the others and begin using it for adventures and racing.

Okay, you got me, I'm gonna drive the wheels off the damn thing as soon as it's available.

Close Out

Project: Two-Barrel Terror will be the final project before I get to my Mom's Mustang and my Grandpa's El Camino. It isn't practice, but it is the last opportunity to work out all the kinks in my skills and processes before getting to my most important projects.

Close out is the process of going through the results, successes and failures in the project to learn all I can for what's to come.

Summary

Project: Two-Barrel Terror is the project to convert the New 351 from a plebeian 289-powered pony to its 351W namesake — this car has always been intended to emulate an idealized version of my first car, the Original 351. Raven Black, a 4-speed Toploader and a wonderfully plain, but none-the-less exciting 2-barrel 351W, in a base-model '66 Mustang will finally make that dream a reality after 25 years of waiting.

Progress

I haven't made any progress on my other projects and this one is fourth in line, so there will be quite some time before I get anywhere on it. Check back here as this is the future spot for all project progress updates.

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