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1967 coupe uncomfortable to drive

4620 Views 18 Replies 15 Participants Last post by  Retired Boomer
Hey guys I know this will sound weird, but I got my 67 mustang able to be driven for the first time in about four years. I have several thoughts I'd like to get opinions on. Is it just that I'm used to a modern car or is this thing really uncomfortable? The steering wheel hits my thighs, when I release the clutch pedal my knees hit the turn signal bar, and collectively the steering and braking aren't too fun.

By the way I'm 5'11" so about average height. The car has nonpowered disk brakes from a Granada in the front, and drum rear, and a t5 Borg Warner from a fox body using the stock linkage setup.

My question is "are all of you having similar thoughts? And I just need to get used to how an antique car feels again? Or are there adjustments that can be made so that it's a friendlier machine?"

Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated

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There is not alot you can do about the ergonomics of the early Mustangs as they were built. Putting in a moveable steering column, smaller steering wheel and actual brake power booster will give you more room. I have kept the suspension and steering on my car up to specs and just accept that the car is the best they had 50 years ago. It is an extraordinary change for me when I go from one car to the other. Good luck!
The car is old and so are we. A modern automobile is way more comfortable that a 40 to 50 year old car will ever be. Drive it more often (on short trips) and respect it for what it is.
I think a few adjustments to tighten up the steering and clean up the clutch play can be made, also possibly a brake booster... But overall I think you guys are right, I just got used to my modern car since its been off the road so long.. Pretty crazy to think it was my daily driver for three years (was an automatic then)
hello . you can buy a smaller wheel and shorten the lever . yoiur seats may be over stuffed with foam or have repo foam that is thickjer than orig . american cushion industries makes the foan correctkly.
People were a little shorter on average back then......(really), you can get a kit which lowers the seat rack and lets it sit back a bit farther, lowing the seat combined with the couple of inches extra length works well for most people.

In regards to the brakes, it sounds like the brake linings are the "dime -a-dozen" variety.

It really all boils down to the friction co-efficient....anything greater than .49 will be better than oem in terms of its ability to bite. I would avoid Wagner, Raybestos, etc......this will drive most e-base distributors & big box store "experts" right out of their mind because they either cannot verify this info or you will find the spec is less than oem. IMHO, again look for a CE that is .49 or greater.

With regards to brake linings in general,

Ceramics: They are good but do not develop any more friction than good quality OEM linings (and are used in many oem applications)

Performance Friction & Hawk: Good braking, increased friction but very dirty compared to OEM.

Wagner & Raybestos: a line of products that is 100% marketing and mfg from very low quality/inexpensive and/or imported products with the mfg's not providing any back-up or support on product failures (and I mean real ugly spontaneous, catestropihic failures)

VelveTouch lining- Used for many decades and was the original lining used in all Shelby Mustangs in the 60’s (I personally have used the Velvetouch lining since 1960’s until brake lining production ceased in 1986), then switched to Carbo. Wellman has been the builder of braking linings for all of the Formula 1 race teams for more than 30 years and VT is now available again.

Bendix- TitaniuMetallic™ II, a newer lining (semi-metallic) and although I have not personally used this, I have always been impressed with Bendix brake linings and this particular lining IIMHO would be a low dust, excellent oem upgrade/mild performance type brake lining.

CarboTech Engineering lining, which I have used for about 20+ years and been very happy on multiple full size (V8) cars and trucks. This particular lining has a high friction co-efficient, excellent pedal feel, wears (typically 50,000 to 75,000 miles before replacement is required) and produces less dust than OEM linings.

I highly recommend speaking to them by phone for linings that would be best for your application.

Our own Mustang has been in the family since new (1965) and was the 3rd delivered with 4 wheel disc brakes (from Shelby)...unfortunately the other 2 had major brake failures and Ford in writing to the dealer required the dealer remove all the disc and replace with Drums & VelvaTouch lining.....long story short, since the ground up rebuild (1986/7) we have been running Carbo linings (which are the equivalent as velva-touch) and I am perfectly comfortable taking the car up to 100 mph and hitting the brakes bringing it down to a complete stop, straight & controlled good as any oem disc/drum brake system.
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Even before you were born I was driving a BMW 320i but still had a couple of '66 Mustangs in the garage. It didn't take many switches between those two until I realized that an old Mustang wasn't ever going to be the most comfortable car I could be driving. :) We still drove one to the World's Fair in Knoxville although I remember it being somewhat of a chore.

However, with everything restored to new condition and a set of modern tires they really don't drive all that badly. With an automatic, A/C and cruise control they can really be pretty tolerable. We are looking forward to our trip to Pittsburgh next week in the '66 coupe. There are more things to life than always being comfortable. You will rarely get a wave when driving a new BMW unless its with one finger. :yup:

We should be at the museum downtown on the 29th. Give us a honk and a wave.
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My one big concession to comfort was to put in a basic but small Grant wheel. The original wheel beat up my legs so it had to go in storage. I have PS so I could get away with a small wheel, looks funny because it is small enough to look over it for the speed.
I think that my Mustang is more comfortable than most cars today. I can drive all day and not get uncomfortable but if I drive my dad's Altima my mom's Fusion or my Dakota my back gets sore. I have stock seats and stock suspension.
You need to adapt to the classic cars. I'm 6 feet tall and my knee never hits the turn signal bar, so that seems odd to me. Maybe your clutch pedal is returning to high or your lifting your leg too high.
Hi, Leadfoot; You mentioned running the T5 transmission (good choice) which means the car is no longer stock. Therefore, I would suggest either a cable or hydraulic pedal modification. Both are easier on the knee than the old Z-bar linkage. Next, my son did the Granada brake conversion on his 65 Cyclone, a car similar in weight and handling to our Mustangs. His choice to replace the single bowl m/cyl was a 72 Pinto manual front disc master. He used the Pinto proportioning block also, and that car stopped easily and quickly. BTW, he did not have to modify the pedal or firewall mounting area to install that m/cylinder. A smaller steering wheel would give you an inch more room, but expect a higher steering effort in trade. An alternative would be to shop for a deeper dished wheel; brings the rim closer to your chest, but away from your lap. After that, remember what everyone else're driving a 48 year old car. Think what it must be like to drive a 32 roadster!
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Slide the seat back, I'm 6' and I never hit the turn signal switch on my 65 or 67. Check your seat and make sure it not raised, it should only have the U shaped washers between the track and the carpet. I run a slightly smaller wheel than the stock manual steering wheel. Good Luck.
Lots of good suggestions here!! If I switch to a cable driven clutch, I'm told I won't be able to run my long tube headers anymore? Is that the case? It's been a few years now, but I believe I have headmen headers on it. I think it's releasing high!!! If the clutch was lower I think I could get used to the steering wheel, because I drove the car as an automatic with the brakes and steering like this and wasn't horribly put off. Any suggestions on cable setups that worked would be awesome!

Thanks in advance

I'm 6'1" and the only thing I don't like are the seats,,so, this winter I will go to the bone yard and get a pair of reclining bucket's,,then strip them and do what I have to to imitate the original seat frames,,then install the stock foam and seat covers,,,modern seats with stock appearance,,,and while I have it apart I think I will move the seat mounts back a little,,,
If I switch to a cable driven clutch,

I think it's releasing high!!! If the clutch was lower I think I could get used to the steering wheel,

Any suggestions on cable setups that worked would be awesome!

Thanks in advance -nick

my suggestion is do not get one. you do not need one. if your stock linkage is not binding and your pedal is hard to depress than the problem is the pressure plate. the clamping force is higher than stock.

if you want a lighter pedal feel simply put in a lighter pressure plate. if your engine is near stock you do not need a plate with a high clamping force.

if you have a diaphragm pressure plate in it you have the wrong plate. it will cause your pedal to try and return sudden;y once you raise it past half way. on many cases this will try to throw your knee into your face.

the band aid cure for this phenomenon is to remove the under dash pedal spring.

if you do this and your pedal dies not return to the fully upright position you are likely missing the other pedal return spring. this can be purchased at any mustang supplier.

if you are half way strong you can push a pedal with a stock pressure plate to the floor with your hand.

ford had a very light pedal.

i helped mcleod develop a line of nearly stock pressure plates. you can buy them at summit.the only other stock type plates are from luk or possibly sachs. i would not use one of those.


You can upgrade your system with these bearings. they will reduce pedal effort slightly but it is NOT a fun project.


It should have around 1 1/2" - 1 3/.4" of freeplay. it should be fully released around 2" or more from the floor or. as long as it fully releases at least 2" above the floor your engagement point can be where ever you want it. in other words. you can have 4" of freeplay as long as it is fully disengaged at least 2" above the floor.

ok, now if it will work with 4" of freeplay or what ever amount, you can lower the pedal by installing a long upper stop on it providing your throw out bearing is NOT touching the clutch fingers. now if you have a diaphragm pressure plate and the right throw out bearing, i have read from some sources [not the clutch mfg's] that you are supposed to run a little pre load on the bearing. i never do this.
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If you run preload on the throwout bearing, you will be replacing it all the time. In the old days, customers used to get 70,000-90,000 mi before they needed any clutch service other than an occasional clutch free-play adjustment, as the clutch wears the free-play adjustment gets less until it is gone, then if it continues the clutch starts slipping and the throwout bearing will fail prematurely. The clutch should not need adjustment unless the free play is not 7/8"-1 1/8", this is easiest felt using your hand to press the clutch pedal. Good Luck.
I found that a tilt column from Ididit made my car much more comfortable. easier to get in and out of. my thighs don't hit. it made a huge improvement for me. I also use a hydraulic clutch conversion which makes the clutch smooth and easy. I swapped the seats to corbeau sport seats. I also modified my pro 5.0 shifter so it tilts back further and is at a more comfortable angle so I don't have to reach for 3rd or 5th gear.
so there are lots of things you can do to make the car more comfortable it just depends on whether you want your car to be original or not.


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It must be you, my 67 was the most comfortable car I have ever driven.

In all truthfulness, I look at my 67 thru rose colored glasses. For me it was quite comfortable and I loved driving it, however I had 2 things in my favor to help with that. First I had power steering so I could replace the original wheel with a smaller diameter grant wheel that gave me more room and tremendous comfort while driving. The second was that mine was an automatic which eliminated me having to work a clutch pedal. If I ever had the A/C working I probably wouldn't have used it because the window ledge was just perfect for me to rest my arm on, the armrests on it were just for looks not for function. This would explain why I always had a deep tan on my left arm and not on my right.
I had standard drums which I would have preferred disc but the non power brakes I happened to enjoy being able to stomp on them without locking up. I drove a friends 68 fastback with power disc and it stopped beautifully but it took me awhile not to lock em up. I still find that I do that in my newer cars after driving my 65 for a few days.
I think the others have given you some good advice on adjusting your clutch and changing your steering wheel, if you don't have power steering I would think about adding it as it makes a huge difference in your comfort and not being sore.
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Of course your '67 is not as comfy & ergonomic as a modern car. Handling & braking are likewise vintage.

But you can definitely make it better with upgraded or rebuilt mechanicals -- brakes, steering, suspension, clutch, tilt column, flat-bottom steering wheel, etc.

And you'll never be comfortable with worn-out stock seats.

Lots of seat choices -- I did a ton of research. VERY happy with my choice: '07 seats in my '66 Fastback.

Land vehicle Vehicle Car Car seat Sedan
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Car seat Car seat cover

Great seats! Firm, supportive, and very comfy.

If I had to do it again, I'd do the same swap. No changes, no regrets.

Now I'm nearly ready for my first road trip!
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