Thinking on a 78 Stang II coupe thoughts?


New Member
Sep 29, 2000
south louisiana
OK, ran across a clean 78 Stang II coupe today. If i can pick it up for $700 I may just do that. Going to strip it down for a strip car. What are the axle to alxe dimensions for the 8" rear ? And has anyone tried using the old Shelby type tri-Y headers in these with a small block? I've got a 400+ hp 331 topped with a six pack setup ready for a home. It's either this or a late 90's S10 (that'll drive the S10 guys nuts:rlaugh: ) if I can locate one in decent shape with a blown motor. The Stang II coupe has a V6 and backed by a slush box. And some one topped the stock 2 bbl intake with an adapter and a Holley 4 bbl carb.
  • Sponsors (?)

Go with the Stang!!! :)

Grab an 8" rear from any Mustang other than the '71-'73's, or a Maverick, or the early Granada. The spring perches are off by about 1/4". With that much engine and drag-racing in its future, I'd be looking for a 9". They came in the early Granada/Monarch/Versailles also.

My understanding is that any early Mustang header will not clear the MII framerails (although I've always wondered about the Hedman shorty 351 swap header for the '65 Mustang). The easy answer is to use the Hooker Super Comp header for the MII.

Any idea how big that carb is? It may be one of the early small 390 CFM models which would be useful to anyone hot-rodding a 2.3L 4-cylinder or 200 cu. in. straight-six.
The reason I asked about the Shelby try-y's was they fit the 83-up Rangers with a V8, perfectly. As does the Mustang II exhaust manifolds. They both have a limited clearance between the frame rails. Ditto for the early Falcon/Fairlanes (62-65) The 351 swap header (right side) doesn't work in a Ranger, I tried one and ended up rerouting two tubes then got disgusted with it and used the BFH method to make it work.:D This was before I went to the Shelby headers. So a Granada rear fits the Stang II? I checked out an 80 model a few weeks ago in Houston Tx. The owner was commuting to work in it. We got to talking and I told him about the front and rear axles and spindles fitting the early Stangs. Then I got down and looked under the car and low and behold, it had a 9" drum brake rear. :D What's the perch to perch distance on the Stang II? Wonder how close it is to the Ranger/Explorer? I also have use for the 4 bbl carb the Stang II had. Got a home for it on the 5.0 in the Ranger. The 750 it's got now is too big. More than likely that 4bbl Holley was a 600 though, but it too would be perfect. :nice: What do the Stang II coupes weigh?
I went back through a bunch of messages on the Yahoo Mustang II Group and found everything from "it drops right in" to "the perches are 1/4" too wide" to "the perches are 1" too wide". It makes me wonder if everyone had a different scale on their tape measure or if there really is that much variance in Ford rears used on MII's, Granada's, and Mavericks in the late '70's. Maybe someone at Currie could answer that...until recently they processed a huge number of housings, but make their own now.

All the messages agreed that the Maverick/Granada rear was usable, but some insisted that the perches had to be moved and some did not. One guy even said that he dropped his factory 8" rear and had to use a jack to get the springs to line up with his perches again. So, your mileage may vary...

It would be good to measure the clearance between the Ranger and MII framerails in the engine compartment. As I have both, I guess that can be my assignment. :)

I believe that Alcino that posts here bought a set of Tri-Y's and had to modify them heavily to get them to fit his CBII. I don't recall the details though.

I've heard of MII's weighing as much as 3200 lbs for a loaded V8 model down to 2800 lbs for one prepared for racing. I don't think that there is a huge weight difference between the coupe and hatch.
Distance between the insides of the frame rails, measured just in front of the engine, but behind the core support:

1976 Mustang II...24 1/8"

1991 Ranger........25"

Maybe the extra 7/8" is enough to allow the Tri-Y headers to fit the Ranger?

I read some where that one of the reasons the MII front suspension was so popular with rodders was that the MII framerails were the same width as the Model A.
The Tri-Y's on mine just barely clear the rigth frame, but the left side has plenty of space. I centered the engine between the fenders, instead of using the frame as a reference. The frame on them is offset some to the right or so I gathered when I was trying to figure out engine placement (but it's been 5 years ago now too) Anyway, i decided to pass on that 78, I just couldn't get past the coupe's looks. If it had been a hatchback, it'd been different. Still hunting. Kinda like to also find an 84-88 T-Bird to strip down, always liked those cars looks when they were raced.