Choosing a Convertible for my Mom

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USAFPILOT

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I want to find out if the engine is original to the car or not. I know it has a 351C 2V and came with one...but how do I match it to the VIN?

 
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A partial VIN will be located on the back of the block, on the driver's side right below the head gasket, if it's an original engine. You'll need a mirror to see it, or maybe take a picture with a cell phone. There's not much room between the engine and firewall. You can search our forum and find examples of what others have been able to find.

 

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I want to find out if the engine is original to the car or not.  I know it has a 351C 2V and came with one...but how do I match it to the VIN?
Doesn't really matter much on a non-performance car. If it was an M or Q code 351-4V, then it would add slightly to the value. 

Block VIN stamping looks like below - if the buck tag you posted is from that 'vert, it would be 1F218732 (year)(assy plant)(unit number)



 
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Can I ask why you are not looking at 72 & 73 you got deluxe interior in all verts 71 was an option. 

I have several and have not paid anywhere near any of those prices for them.

I just drove my 73 on the Blue Ridge Parkway today over 5,000 feet has the following options.

1973 Mustang convertible. All had Power Top BTW and all had Glass rear window.

It came with the aftermarket aluminum wheels and new tires and also the factory steel wheels and Sport Wheel Covers. I just put the Factory aluminum wheels on and new Cooper tires. 

Yes it is dented and scratched but I do not have to worry about getting it hurt, lol. I just drive int to shows and playing here. I bought several others also very cheap. You need to get away from those Shiny Used Car places they know nothing about them just want to put money in pocket. Run your own wanted ads on Craigslist in several areas of the U.S. estates are selling them every day I am sure.

Automatic

PDB

PS

long console

Center gauges

Tach

Convenience Group

Decor group

Deluxe rear bumper rub strip and guards

Sport Wheel Covers

AM/FM

AC

Tilt column

351 H code numbers matching, with performer 2-V to 4-V added.

Bored .050" over, cam, flat top pistons shift kit installed. 

MSD ignition

New top

Original paint and interior white comfort weave

California car with 48,000 miles zero rust. Was on ebay so not hidden $7,200 and $1,000 to transport. I have driven on 90 deg. plus heat with not issues so far. 

I was ask at a show what I would take and I said $21,000 and he walked. 

















 

USAFPILOT

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We like the chrome front bumpers /trim and the 240HP engine vs 177HP; would still prefer a real 71 351C 4V 280HP engine. Deluxe door panels can be added pretty easy. I guess you can make a 73 have 71 performance and looks too, but just haven't run across any 72 or 73 in the ball park. Now my mom is thinking she might want a 67-68 instead. I'm getting a bit frustrated. I think we are looking at a pretty nice car here for not too much $$$.

I appreciate all of yall's help.

 

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We like the chrome front bumpers /trim and the 240HP engine vs 177HP; would still prefer a real 71 351C 4V 280HP engine.  Deluxe door panels can be added pretty easy.  I guess you can make a 73 have 71 performance and looks too, but just haven't run across any 72 or 73 in the ball park.  Now my mom is thinking she might want a 67-68 instead.  I'm getting a bit frustrated.  I think we are looking at a pretty nice car here for not too much $$$. 

I appreciate all of yall's help.

I think the one you posted last is a pretty nice car. Offer a bit low and see where they come back at. 

Regarding the horsepower differences, in 1972, two things happened. First, Ford switched from SAE "gross" HP rating to SAE "net", where the engine was dyno tested with all accessories it would usually be installed with. This resulted in a significant rated HP drop on certain engines, which were more realistic. Also, the camshafts on all engines were retarded 4 degrees for emissions purposes. Other than that, the engines were identical. If you drove a stock trim 71 H-code, side by side with a 72 H-code, I'd bet you couldn't tell the difference. 73 saw a dished piston in the 2V and 4V engine, so compression dropped a bit.

 

USAFPILOT

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We like the chrome front bumpers /trim and the 240HP engine vs 177HP; would still prefer a real 71 351C 4V 280HP engine.  Deluxe door panels can be added pretty easy.  I guess you can make a 73 have 71 performance and looks too, but just haven't run across any 72 or 73 in the ball park.  Now my mom is thinking she might want a 67-68 instead.  I'm getting a bit frustrated.  I think we are looking at a pretty nice car here for not too much $$$. 

I appreciate all of yall's help.

I think the one you posted last is a pretty nice car. Offer a bit low and see where they come back at. 

Regarding the horsepower differences, in 1972, two things happened. First, Ford switched from SAE "gross" HP rating to SAE "net", where the engine was dyno tested with all accessories it would usually be installed with. This resulted in a significant rated HP drop on certain engines, which were more realistic. Also, the camshafts on all engines were retarded 4 degrees for emissions purposes. Other than that, the engines were identical. If you drove a stock trim 71 H-code, side by side with a 72 H-code, I'd bet you couldn't tell the difference. 73 saw a dished piston in the 2V and 4V engine, so compression dropped a bit.
Offered 16.5 and they countered at 16.9k, an I above market?

 

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Long time Pontiac guy, jumped ship, now driving a '71 Grabber Green Mach 1 with "J" code 429 Cobra Jet, close-ratio 4 speed, 3.50 Traction-Lok rear.
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We like the chrome front bumpers /trim and the 240HP engine vs 177HP; would still prefer a real 71 351C 4V 280HP engine.  Deluxe door panels can be added pretty easy.  I guess you can make a 73 have 71 performance and looks too, but just haven't run across any 72 or 73 in the ball park.  Now my mom is thinking she might want a 67-68 instead.  I'm getting a bit frustrated.  I think we are looking at a pretty nice car here for not too much $$$. 

I appreciate all of yall's help.
Remember some of the HP rating drops was due to how they did the test not a change in the actual engine. I think the 71 was tested with none of the water pump, AC, alternator or anything installed. Yes the 73 got smaller valves but any can be made to be equal as far as HP. The HO cars are difficult to find and will never be cheap unless total rust bucket. Has your mom ever driven 70 back compared to 71 - 73? Huge difference in driving and ride.

 

USAFPILOT

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Do the 71's ride a lot better?

Also have a look at these pictures.  am i looking at front fenders that have fallen apart at the bottom?  Look near the tire.











 
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USAFPILOT

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Ok thanks...great to know. thought I was seeing a red flag.

My other question is the dealer said everything works, but the picture clearly shows that the Air Conditions compressor pully does not have a belt on it. Assuming the AC had to be replaced, what is the worst I would be looking at cost wise?

 

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Could be anything from the cost of a belt, to a simple charge, to complete component replacement on into the thousands. After nearly fifty years, you don't know until you dig in. Current owner could have pulled the belt to "free up HP", or some other reason. AFAIK, all of the factory type parts are available, either from an auto parts store, or a specialty dealer such as NPD.

FWIW, "everything works" could mean anything from it starts, runs, drives and stops as it should, to absolutely zero faults. This car falls somewhere in between. You need to expect to have some issues and it needing work regardless of what the dealer says.

 

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With this gauge cluster...is there no water temperature reading?  Is it just an "idiot" light?

How much work is it to install the other three aux gauges?

Also, is there a good specialty shop to send the cluster to for refurbishing?

 

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With this gauge cluster...is there no water temperature reading?  Is it just an "idiot" light?
No readouts - just the basic speedometer and fuel level with warning lights for alternator, water temp, oil pressure and brakes.

How much work is it to install the other three aux gauges?
Several different ways to do it. Best way is a full factory dash and engine compartment harness swap. You could send the dash harness to Midlife and have him modify it for gauges, or modify it yourself. You could also just leave the idiot lights in place and set up aftermarket gauges in a factory center dash cluster.

Also, is there a good specialty shop to send the cluster to for refurbishing?
Rocketman does all sorts of gauge services. He can add a tach to your non-tach dash and retain the idiot lights, refurbish the cluster, etc.

https://www.rccinnovations.com/

 

USAFPILOT

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Well she bought and it arrived (the solid red car). It is running and driving fine. However, it doesn't have working heater, AC, or even the heater and AC fan. I noticed some odd things in the engine compartment not seen in the pics. I'll have to get some pictures of it to post up on here later. But it looks like a heater hose is removed and zip tied into place along the AC lines. I think it should connect to the water pump. But instead a 5 inch or so long hose is connected to the water pump, which makes an immediate U turn back into the intake manifold.

Can someone with a correct engine bay give me some good close up shots of where the proper heater hoses and coolant hoses should run to.

The suspension is also very squeaky. Feels solid, but very noisy. Does it just need to be greased? Know of some common causes of the front suspension squeaking?

The car has one small oil drip that we will have to address, not bad though. I id notice after it warms up the engine oil light will come on at idle in gear. Once it has a few revs or in neutral it goes out. I am guessing the RPM needs to be bumped up a tad?

 
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The heater hose is commonly looped back when the heater core is leaking.

The oil light could indicate low oil pressure or a bad oil pressure switch. The safe way to check it is with a mechanical oil pressure gauge, remove the oil pressure switch and connect the gauge there. Or, just replace the switch and see if that takes care of it.

 
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Well she bought and it arrived (the solid red car).  It is running and driving fine.  However, it doesn't have working heater, AC, or even the heater and AC fan.  I noticed some odd things in the engine compartment not seen in the pics.  I'll have to get some pictures of it to post up on here later.  But it looks like a heater hose is removed and zip tied into place along the AC lines.  I think it should connect to the water pump.  But instead a 5 inch or so long hose is connected to the water pump, which makes an immediate U turn back into the intake manifold. 

Can someone with a correct engine bay give me some good close up shots of where the proper heater hoses and coolant hoses should run to. 

The suspension is also very squeaky.  Feels solid, but very noisy.  Does it just need to be greased?  Know of some common causes of the front suspension squeaking?

The car has one small oil drip that we will have to address, not bad though.  I id notice after it warms up the engine oil light will come on at idle in gear.  Once it has a few revs or in neutral it goes out.  I am guessing the RPM needs to be bumped up a tad?
Sounds like they bypassed the heater core which means it likely needs to be replaced. Something the seller should have noted. Parts to replace can be easily had.

I dunno on squeaky suspension. I would just replace it if it annoys her. My car is apart so no pics. Could be low oil pressure. Try changing oil. Not sure if anyone would recommend higher viscosity like 20w40? I think idle is supposed to be about 750?

 
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Loud squeeking from the front end is usually the ball joints. Some have grease fittings, originals had little threaded plugs that had to be removed and replaced with a zerk fitting to be greased. If they're that bad, they likely need replaced, though. The other source of squeeks are the bushings in the upper and lower control arms, tie rod ends, and other joints in the center link.

 

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Most times I've had a squeak in the front end, it's the upper control arm inner shaft. They are a metal on metal bushing and make lots of noise when the grease runs out.

Agree with the heater core assessments, it's most likely a leaker. Since it's an AC car, that's a bit more involved than a non AC vehicle.

I'd be concerned about the oil light, Get a mechanical gauge on the engine so you have an actual number. If it's below spec, you need to have a discussion with the dealership about that, along with the heater core and inoperative AC.

 
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