Where drivetrains are concerned, here's nothing that Henry or Edsel did which a welder can't undo. The 1967 Mustang is one of the most popular model years of one of the most popular cars of all time, and it's engine bay is commodious enough to fit almost anything you can think of. So, the only real limitations lay in your budget, skill and imagination.
Ford used three basic engines during 1967 and 1968: the Thriftpower in-line six, an assortment of small-block "Windsor" V-8s and three different FE big-blocks. If you don't mind falling asleep at the wheel, Ford's 200-cubic-inch, 120-horsepower Thriftpower is an option, but Windsor engines from 289 to 302 cubic inches (originally 195 to 271 horsepower) are cheap and common enough to make a viable replacement for any Mustang. A 351 Windsor will bolt in place of any smaller Windsor, though it wasn't a factory option until 1969.
Factory Big Blocks
Ford only offered the 1967 Mustang with a single big-block engine option, the 320-horsepower, 390-cubic-inch FE. Bigger and badder engines came along in 1968, including a 325-horsepower 390 (four-barrel carb; the two-barrel 390 had 280 horses), the 335-horsepower 428 Cobra Jet FE and the legendary 390-horsepower 427 FE. The 375-horsepower 429 "Boss" big-block was an option in 1969 and 1970. "Cleveland" big-blocks will also fit into any Mustang of this era, but can require special motor mounts, headers and auxiliary equipment.
Perhaps the most popular retrofit for Mustangs of this vintage, the fuel-injected 5.0 (pronounced five-oh) is a bolt-in replacement for any older Windsor. The 5.0-liter is basically an updated 302 utilizing a sophisticated and versatile mass-air fuel injection system that adapts easily to aftermarket modifications. Ford's newer single- and double-overhead-cam 4.6-liter, 5.4-liter and 6.8-liter Modular engines are also popular retrofits, but require a great deal more fabrication to fit. The Mod motor won't fit between your Mustang's original shock towers, though, so you'll probably have to remove them and install an aftermarket Mustang II front suspension.
The New V-12
Decades ago, someone at Hot Wheels had the bright idea of taking the 3,000-horsepower, Rolls Royce Merlin V-12 engine out of a P-51 Mustang fighter plane and sticking it under the hood of a Ford Mustang. While this swap is a bit impractical in real life (the Merlin is 6 feet long and weighs about 1,500 pounds), you can recapture a bit of its mystique by installing the V-12 from an Aston Martin Vanquish. It's no longer than the original in-line-six and about as wide as a Windsor V-8.
Super Freaks Only
Of course, if you really want to impress your friends and don't mind getting eight miles to the gallon, then you might want to forgo Ford's sad little "Cobra Jet" and opt instead for an actual jet engine. Military surplus jet engines like those used in Vietnam-era helicopters are fairly inexpensive, compact and lightweight. The only downside is that jet engines take forever to rev up and only make power at extremely high rpm. So, you might want to consider pairing one with a variable-displacement swash-plate type pump and hydrostatic drivetrain from a used bulldozer. Yes, the hydrostatic drivetrain is heavy, but the jet engine's light weight should help to offset its extra mass. The variable-displacement pump will act as a continuously-variable transmission to keep the engine on full boil whenever you need it, so there's no excuse for sloppy acceleration.
- "Ultimate American V-8 Engine Data Book: 2nd Edition"; Peter Sessler; 2010
- The Mustang Shop: Swapping a Ford Modular Engine into an Early Mustang
- Car Nut: Popular American V8 Engine Dimensions
- "You Built What!? A Closer Look at the Jet-Powered ATV"; Cassandra Clawson; Popular Science; February, 2002
- Photo Credit Michael Buckner/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
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