Q&A / Tech

Monday Mailbag: Taking a 1970 Mustang into the 9s at the Track


You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers — Mondays, when the Summit Racing tech department tackles your automotive-related conundrums. This week in our Monday Mailbag we’re helping a reader take his ’70 Mustang into the 9-second range on the quarter-mile.

Q: I have purchased a 1970 Mustang. I have a 1969 460 engine that I’m told will fit in the engine compartment. I want to build a car that will do 9-second quarter-miles.

The engine will be bored .060 inches over, have a stroker kit, Cobra Jet heads, and an Edelbrock Victor Jr. intake. I need advice on carburetion and headers. The transmission will be a Powerglide with a trans-brake or a C-6. I plan on using a 9-inch Ford rear-end and ladder bars. Any help you can give me before I buy parts would be appreciated.

A: We can give you some general guidelines to help you build your 9-second Mustang. Keep in mind it won’t be cheap, nor will it be cheap to run.

  • Compression: 12.5-13.0:1
  • Camshaft: roller with 4,500-7,800 rpm powerband
  • Intake/carburetor: Edelbrock Victor 460 intake with 1,150 cfm Holley Dominator
  • Ignition: MSD box, distributor, Blaster 2 coil

Transmission choice will be somewhat dependent on vehicle weight. We suggest you put your Mustang on a serious diet to get it under 3,000 pounds. At that weight, we’d use a Powerglide and a 5,500 rpm stall torque converter. You might want to consider using an air shifter, too.

A Ford 9-inch is a must. You will need a spool and aftermarket axles to handle all the power you will be putting into the rear.

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One Comment

  1. Marty Flynn says:

    I think your advice was right on to the guy with the 1970 Mustang. As a similar comparison for the Chevy guys, I started with a 1955 Chevy and as you said “put the car on a serious diet” ending with 2600lb car and a 200lb driver. The main differences between my car and the Mustang is I used a 406ci small block Chevy and a 850 Holley carb flowed to 920. In fact the carb work was done by the late and great Chuck Gulledge (a former Holley employee). All of the other parts I used were as you suggested for the Mustang, Powerglide and 5500 stall converter, air shifter, 9″ Ford rear, aftermarket axles, spool and 2″ headers. I tried different gears for the rear and the 4:88 worked the best for the quarter mile. As a note, I found it to be wise to weld a brace (or a strap) across the rear axle tubes to avoid the tubes from turning during the launch of a heavier car.
    This was the ole (Glory Days) 55 I campaigned in super gas back in the 80’s and 90’s and various bracket races. It was a fun ride and now it’s time to turn it over to a new owner. Give me a call.

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