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II Times FiveI have a '33 Ford Coupe with a Mustang II front suspension, which uses four-lug brake rotors. I'd like to convert it to a five-lug pattern, but I'm not sure what hubs to use. Any suggestions?John Hanna Aberdeen, MS
The simplest way to get to a five-lug pattern would be to swap your brake rotors, since the hubs and rotors are integral on the Mustang II setup. Stock 911/44-inch vented Mustang II (M-II) rotors are available new with either the traditional Ford 5-on-411/42-inch bolt pattern or GM's 5-on-431/44-inch pattern from a variety of street rod parts suppliers, including Speedway Motors. At $34.95 apiece, the price is right, too. These are brand-new rotors that are only drilled with the desired bolt pattern, not converted from four-lug to five. Order up a set of fresh wheel bearings and you'll be ready for five-lug wheels inside of an hour. Speedway also offers Mustang II "Super Rotors," which are the same size but are cross-drilled and zinc-washed.
However, while you're at it, you may want to take the opportunity to upgrade your braking, particularly since the stock Mustang II brakes are small, and were originally intended for four- and six-cylinder Pinto-based M-II models, even though V-8s were later offered. A fairly common upgrade involves using Granada 11-inch rotors, which use the same wheel-bearing dimensions so they bolt right up to the Mustang II spindles. This requires custom caliper brackets, and most of these swaps are offered in kit form using GM "metric" calipers (third-gen F-body and '78-'88 A/G body) with the required adapter brackets.
Master Power Brakes offers a kit that upgrades the M-II front spindles to 11-inch brakes, but it uses separate hubs to mount the rotors, and the hubs and rotors are both drilled to accept studs for either 411/42-inch or 431/44-inch bolt pattern. This kit also uses the "big" GM-style calipers found on many '70s-era GM cars, as opposed to the later metric GM calipers. According to Master Power, the larger calipers are good for an additional 65 percent clamping force. Another stated benefit of this kit is that it does not widen the vehicle's track width-the wheels remain in the same position relative to the vehicle.
If you still want more braking for your Mustang II-equipped vehicle, Master Power also offers a Deluxe M-II brake kit, featuring 12-inch cross-drilled and slotted rotors and late-model Corvette-style PBR aluminum calipers. The kit uses aluminum hubs and comes with stainless-braided brake hoses, and while it also does not widen the vehicle's track width, it does require the use of at least 16-inch wheels.
Proper HeaderingIn your Sept. '03 issue, you featured a set of Ford GT-40P iron cylinder heads on an engine buildup. My question is, what would happen if you bolted a set of these heads onto a 5.0L Mustang? Would the angled spark plugs clear the headers, and if not, are there shorty headers to make this work without requiring a custom-made set of tubes?Ramon DuvernayHyattsville, MD