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Driving the 4-speed...


Guest Kit Sullivan
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Guest Kit Sullivan

The last time I drove a 4-speed Mach with any regularity was back in the 70s when I owned a 72 4-speed "Q" code mach. I am 6'3", wear a 38"-length pant and remember it was a little awkward and cramped...to say the least. My left knee had almost no room to come up to release the clutch pedal. I also remember pinching my knee in between the steering wheel and the deluxe door panel handle on more than one occasion...very painful.

Over the years I had forgotten all that, but I spent some time this weekend driving my friends 4-speed 429 SCJ mach ( what a car!)...and it all came back to me. Very difficult for a tall guy to shift this thing with any comfort.

 

Back in the day I was tall, and that made it a bit difficult. Today I am not just tall, but fat too! That really toughens it up!

 

Oh well, I'm glad mine is a C-6...

 

Any other 4-speed drivers experience this?

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at 6'1" and heavily muscled around the midsection, I found the stock steering wheel a bit of a problem. I have standard door panels so I haven't experienced the "Pinch"

 

I do still consider lowering my seat somehow and moving it back a bit, but that's a lot of work and I'm in lazy mode this month

http://www.7173mustangs.com/gallery/1_01_07_15_8_53_18.png

 

"I love my Hookers!" and "Get some Strange" probably have a different connotation to non automotive enthusiasts!

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- drove a 59 MGA fixed head coupe briefly in college. Very briefly! Very crampt for a 6' punk like me.

And talking about 'pinch' - the steering wheel was extra large to help move the old Brdgstone tires (no PS :) ).

Sold that one quick. Cool looking car but too damn tiny for me!!!!!!

 

So for my Mustangs, the room with the 4 speed is very acceptable for me. I will never forget that MGA...

 

Ray

1971 Boss 351  

1972 Q code 4 speed convertible 

1971 Mustang Sportsroof  351-2V FMX 

1971 Hardtop (parts car)

1973 Mach 1 (parts car)

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The last time I drove a 4-speed Mach with any regularity was back in the 70s when I owned a 72 4-speed "Q" code mach. I am 6'3", wear a 38"-length pant and remember it was a little awkward and cramped...to say the least. My left knee had almost no room to come up to release the clutch pedal. I also remember pinching my knee in between the steering wheel and the deluxe door panel handle on more than one occasion...very painful.

Over the years I had forgotten all that, but I spent some time this weekend driving my friends 4-speed 429 SCJ mach ( what a car!)...and it all came back to me. Very difficult for a tall guy to shift this thing with any comfort.

 

Back in the day I was tall, and that made it a bit difficult. Today I am not just tall, but fat too! That really toughens it up!

 

Oh well, I'm glad mine is a C-6...

 

Any other 4-speed drivers experience this?

 

I am about the same height as you, but with shorter inseam. I have never had any problems with clutching or shifting my Mach 1.

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At an even 6'0", I think I fit pretty good. I am certainly glad I am not taller though! I feel for you tall guys!

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1931 Ford Model A Station Wagon
1969 Mach 1 - 351C, TKO-600, 4WDB, R&P, A/C, Shaker, Fold Down, etc.
1972 Mach 1 - 351C, FMX, PDB, PS, A/C, Fold Down, Console
1996 Mustang Cobra Convertible - 10psi Procharger, 436rwhp

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Good point guys. I am very close to 6' and when I was welding the new floors I placed the front seat bases app. 2" back from the original position. Nobody doesn't know the modification but it gives you extra room for front seats if needed.

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When my first car (73 Mach I) was wrecked I went on a search for a replacement. Lots of stories to tell. In 1984 Phoenix was smaller, cars were sold in the newspaper and 'penny saver'.

 

Anyways. Almost picked up a really nice 4 speed Mach I. I forget which year. The guy said it was fast and I believe him. But I jumped in and got the pinched knee. At 6' 4" there is just not enough room between the door handle and the steering wheel. It's why I don't own that car, that and the green interior didn't appeal to me. It's also the only reason I never swapped in a manual.

 

Of course now a days I could get the seat moved, smaller steering wheel, hydro clutch with a shorter throw... I still dream of grabbing my own gears.

'Mike'

73 Convertible - 351C/4V CC heads/4bolt/forged flat tops/comp 270/rhodes/mallory unilite/tri-power/hookers/glasspacks/c6/3.50 limited slip/Gear Vendors/Global West sub frames, strut rods and shelby style traction bars/ Rear sway bar/tilt steering (not original)

 

Pics of modifications included in: [button=http://www.7173mustangs.com/thread-1973-convertible--3335]My Garage[/button]

 

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I'm 5'10" so no complaints with my 4 speed. Haven't driven it in about 6 years, as it's waiting for me to restore it. I do remember the Hurst handle was well positioned. No tilt wheel but no complaints either.

My gripe is on all 7173's on the floor. Where the high/low switch is. It needs to be boxed and raised so like modern cars you have a place to comfortably rest your foot.

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No problem here! 6'3" with 32" inseam. I have a14" wheel and seats moved rearward 3". :D

 

The back seat is only good for small children or double amputees though.

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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5' 10" here with a notable belly. 4-speed clutches are workable enough, but I've only tried it on a '72 with standard door panels.

 

I will say that I do NOT like Deluxe door panels though. I need elbow room, and the Deluxe panels do a poor job of it. Standard panels and armrests are a perfect fit, by comparison.

 

-Kurt

satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png

How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Ahhh...Grasshopper...the back seat is good for other purposes as well. Must I explain EVERYTHING to you? :D:P

 

Only explain it to him if he didn't get a car with the Sportdeck rear seat option. Either that, or send him to the Mustang Babes thread and let him figure it out for himself.

 

:P

 

-Kurt

satellite-valiant-mustang-license-tags-signature.png

How to buy a '71-73 Mustang:

Rule #1: Assume all classic car sellers are guilty until proven innocent.

Rule #2: No classic car dealer is ever innocent; thus, they are all guilty.

Rule #3: Buy from trustworthy people: Fellow forum members. Visit 7173Mustang's For Sale forum.

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Guest Kit Sullivan

I love the long throws of the lever. And the bend in the lever keeps third gear easily within reach...You don't have to stretch or lean forward to get there. 2nd and 4th are down low, which I like too.

I always found it odd that reverse was up and to the left...not a lot of other manual transmission place it there. Down and to the right would seem to make more sense to me.

But I guess they may have been considering mis-shifts: getting reverse by accident instead of 1st gear is a lot less dramatic than getting reverse instead of any other gear!

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The back seat is only good for small children or double amputees though.

Ahhh...Grasshopper...the back seat is good for other purposes as well. Must I explain EVERYTHING to you? :D:P

 

I'm not THAT flexible! :D ... MAYBE, with the top down! LOL

[align=left]Jeff T.

 

When I die I want to die like grandpa, peacefully in my sleep... not screaming, like his passengers. [/align]

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At 6'1" I fit fairly comfortable in the Mustang. My oldest son is 7'1" and his knees hit the dash. He cannot drive a manual as his size 19 shoe would catch both the clutch and the brake (I know, he has tried). He can drive the mustang with an automatic, but still not the most comfortable for him. He can barely fit into a full sized F150. I guess that is why he doesn't really like the mustangs.

My other son is 6'7" and he can manage a manual transmission OK. His knees do hit as well, but he does not seem to mind. He loves his mustang (automatic).

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