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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello, my name is David but most people call me Ren these days, I am 40 years old and live near Salt Lake City, Utah but I was born and raised in Boston, MA. I am currently engaged to a wonderful lil' gal who bought me this.

So I was going through the car listings online and found this ad for a 1978 Mustang II that needs TLC for $1000. After I spent a respectable amount of time watching the listing and dreaming of buying this car (which I can not afford on my own to restore since I am paying for child support), my fiancee up and buys it for me and says she will help me financially to restore it! I am blown away. This is not my first Mustang restore btw, me and my father have restored a '68, a '65 and partially a '70 mach 1 when I was teenager. However he did 90% of the engine work while I just did body detail, Interior and wiring harness.

Anyways, the guy we got it from says that this engine is a 289/302 meaning he didn't know if it was a 302 or a 289, is there anyway to find out what year and make the motor is? and if it is a 289 wouldn't that mean the engine is older than the body? I swear Ford stopped the 289 in '68 or '69. either way this is not the original motor, this car was built in Dearborn, MI with a 139 CID 2V 4 cylinder.

I would also like to know of any places to buy parts from other than Mustangs Unlimited (they have limited 1978 parts) and cjponyparts.com, the interior is in excellent condition but its missing all the Ford and Mustang logos, and I do not think the grill is original since I remember reading somewhere recently that Ford had stopped using the egg crate grills in the early '70s.
 

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This car will look great once it is cleaned up. I like the notchbacks a little better. There are a ton of parts stores but I don't know which is best for mustang II parts. Dallas mustang, NPD, summit racing, and I would try EBay or Craigslist.
 

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If

It's a 289, the only way to truly tell would be to take the motor apart and look at the crank. The stock is .25" shorter than a 302 and would be stamped. Judging from the pictures the grill looks factory. Good luck with the build.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok the seller got me in touch today with the guy who owned this car before him, and what I got off him about the engine is that its a 289 bored to a 302, not sure of the year, it has an inline fuel filter which is whats leaking, and the transmission is a 5 speed off of a 1962 sunbeam alpine. is that even possible to fit onto a ford engine?
 

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Ok the seller got me in touch today with the guy who owned this car before him, and what I got off him about the engine is that its a 289 bored to a 302, not sure of the year, it has an inline fuel filter which is whats leaking, and the transmission is a 5 speed off of a 1962 sunbeam alpine. is that even possible to fit onto a ford engine?
He's mistaken. You can't bore a 289 to 302. They both have 4" pistons. The stroke is different, the 289 is 2.87" and the 302 is 3". So he must have a different crank or is completely wrong about the engine and its just a 289 bored .030 over.

Also sunbeams were powered by ford engines at one time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not sure, he said in his exact words "the engine is a 289 rebuilt as a 302" I assumed it had to be bored, I know nothing about engines beyond regular maintenance and I can do SOME engine work if I have the service manual for the car. I didn't realize there was a difference.
 

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Nice catch, girlfriend & car. Both are keepers. For help on rebuilding Mustang II's search for a website called theforgottenpony.com I think. Several stories on restored, saved II's.

The Sunbeam Tiger was very similar to the original Shelby AC Cobra. In fact Shelby helped the Tiger team sort out some issues. A Sunbeam tiger was a Sunbeam Alpine with a 289 Ford engine. A guy a block away from me has one. It's very cool and fast. Google that too. Keep us posted on your progress. Does it run? How well does it run? What is the first major issue you need to tackle?

While they don't get a lot of respect, the Mustang II's came around at the right time, during a gas crises. The original Mustang suffered from bloat in 73. Chevy kept the Camaro body size similar from 70-79. Ford for some reason felt they had to take a good thing, like the 65-66 Mustang and make them bigger every 2 years. Lee Iacocca the Father of the Mustang said the Mustang became. Bloated Pig after the 68's. The II was his idea to bring it back to its roots.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The engine runs fine enough to pass emissions and safety. I am uploading more pics of the car including interior right now if you go check my photo album.

Hmm biggest issue I can see is the headliner, and I'm not sure what to call that part of the gas line that the cap screws into but its not attached to the body and I need to find out how to secure it to the body properly! The interior needs a lot of work including replacement carpeting, and dashboard top, and the dash panel where the stereo fits was cut to fit a modern radio, I really want to put one of those stock radios into there. The door panels look awesome and so does a lot of the dash. I've been too afraid at this point to remove those seat covers tho so I'm not sure about the seats.I have a guy who will soda blast the whole body down for me to remove the rust, but I think I will have to remove all the windows and chrome to truly remove all the rust from the exterior, and I may need a new hood since the underside of this one is rusted. The body looks like its been bonded (bondod?) around the gas cap but again I'm not positive about that yet. You will see in the photos.

I still have yet to check the shocks, brakes and brake lines. and I have yet to replace the vacuum lines, fluids and etc. Am I forgetting anything I should check? Give me a couple months and it will be road worthy I hope. lol.
 

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There are several books on rebuilding small block Ford engines, they're great for getting familiar and walking you through repairs. It's cool having a car to work on and restore.
 
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