Mailbag: Budget Performance 351W Upgrades for a 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1

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Q: I have a 1969 Mustang Mach 1 that I’ve owned for 25 years. It has a 351 Windsor engine and a four-speed transmission. I’d like to build it up a little and have some fun with it—not a speed machine, just a little more zip on the low end. My budget’s around $1,500, so what would you recommend?

A: With your budget and performance goals in mind, we’d recommend the following parts:

Nice car, by the way. Have fun!

This is another in a series of weekly Q&A Mailbag sessions with Summit Racing‘s tech department, in which there are hundreds more. Click here to see them all.

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  1. Holy advertising Batman! Did you leave any sponsors out?

    • Hey Bart. The question was about how to spend $1,500 effectively to upgrade performance. Seemed like a sensible parts list to us, short of the obvious — sourcing super-inexpensive used parts.

  2. How about a Fitech Fuel injection and the cam swap parts above?

    Can you squeeze all that under $1500?

  3. Joe Maniscalco says:

    I think you left out the most obvious hp producer-a set of headers

  4. Get 40 p heads plus the rest

  5. HAROLD LOVETT says:

    A cam kit will give you the performance you are looking for. The timing chain is most likely worn so go ahead and get a complete cam kit with cam, lifters, timing chain set, push rods, valve seals, valve springs, locks, and retainers. When you change the valve springs check the valves for free play and if there is any now is the time to have a valve job done. If you are still running a points distributor invest in a Pertronix conversion kit. The carb that you are running should be just fine as long as you do not run ethanol gas in the car. After you remove the harmonic balancer, check the material separating the 2 half’s for damage. If necessary replace it. If the water pump shows signs of leakage replace it too. All the other items listed are nice but are not necessary at this time. If you have any cash left over then look into adding them later. Headers and a dual plane intake will help a lot also.

  6. Daniel Wilson says:

    Considering that SUMMIT RACING EQUIPMENT is the SPONSOR of this blog, negative comments about the reply given by OAC to the very good question asking for upgrade suggestions really aren’t necessary guys. It’s just business as usual.

    I also owned a’69 Mach 1 with the “M” code 351W, 4-V back in the day. If there’s any wiggle room in that budget, an aluminum dual plane 4-V intake manifold would be a nice addition to the list.

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